Big, American and electric: Lordstown startup reveals Endurance bakkie

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jun 26, 2020

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Lordstown, Ohio - Lordstown Motors unveiled its future electric pickup truck on Thursday as the startup seeks to begin producing vehicles at a former General Motors factory in northeastern Ohio.

Lordstown Motors, which hopes to start delivering the electric pickup to customers by January 2021, will face significant competition from other carmakers.

US Vice President Mike Pence was driven on stage in the pre-production Endurance vehicle on Thursday in the politically important state.

"After a heartbreaking day in 2019, to see this kind of a comeback - I hope you see it's a testament to the confidence the people of this company have in the people of this community," Pence said. "It's a nice ride. I'm a truck guy."

Disappointingly Lordstown did not reveal much in the way of technical information about the Endurance, but according to INSIDEEVs, it will be powered by four in-wheel electric motors offering a total system output in the region of 440kW, while the 70 kWh battery should allow a range of up to 400km. The vehicle is also said to be capable of sprinting from 0-96km/h in 5.5 seconds.

Also on Thursday, Goodyear announced a strategic relationship with Lordstown Motors and said it would acquire new Endurance vehicles for its fleet.

Lordstown Chief Executive Steve Burns said the company would "beat everyone to market" with the first EV truck. Pence said Lordstown has presold 14 000 vehicles.

The sprawling GM plant's fate became a political lightning rod after the largest US automaker announced its planned closure in November 2018, drawing condemnation from President Donald Trump and many US lawmakers.

On Thursday, the campaign of Trump's presumptive Democratic rival in the November election, former Vice President Joe Biden, said "Trump and GM abandoned Ohio’s union workers." The campaign cited a 2017 Trump speech in nearby Youngstown, Ohio, in which Trump said jobs were "all coming back” and urged residents: “Don’t move. Don’t sell your house."

As recently as 2016, the GM plant employed 4500 workers. Its March 2019 closure was devastating to the area. Lordstown Motors has to date hired just 70 employees and about 100 contractors.

Lordstown Motors bought the former GM plant and equipment as part of its ambitious plan to begin delivering electric pickup trucks to customers by year end - a goal which has since been delayed to January.

Other firms are preparing to enter the electric truck sector.

GM plans to build its first electric pickup truck in 2021. Tesla plans to start building its electric Cybertruck in 2021, while Nikola Corp plans to build an electric truck by 2022.

Electric vehicle startup Rivian plans to build an electric pickup truck starting in late 2020, while Ford will introduce an electric F-150 truck in 2022.

Reuters

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