Flush with cash from General Motors, startup automaker Lordstown Motors is moving full speed ahead with the development of an electric pickup truck it hopes will beat comparable models made by Tesla, Rivian, Ford, and others. The company announced the Endurance — its upcoming entry into the burgeoning segment — will be the first to hit the market, and it released preliminary technical specifications as it began taking orders for the model.
The vast majority of electric cars sold new in 2019 are equipped with one electric motor per axle (two-wheel-drive models have a single motor, while the ones with all-wheel drive use two). Using technology licensed from another startup named Workhorse, Lordstown plans to develop an innovative four-wheel-drive, 600-horsepower powertrain that assigns one electric motor to each wheel, so four in total. Rivian packed similar technology into the R1T it unveiled in 2018.
This layout makes it easier to control how much torque is transferred to each wheel, which should come in handy when off-roading. Other details such as range, payload, and towing capacity remain under wraps. The company’s preview images suggest the Endurance will wear a futuristic design characterized by a tall front end with a body-colored insert, razor-thin headlights, a boxy cab, and pronounced wheel arches. It almost looks like the Chevrolet Silverado of the future.
Lordstown pledged its truck will offer at least 200 miles of driving range, though it realistically needs twice that number to keep up with the competition and live up to its name, and it pegged the truck’s towing capacity at 6,000 pounds. An on-board power outlet will let users run tools and charge their devices off the grid by drawing electricity from the battery pack.
Starting a car company that reliably makes millions of vehicles annually is more difficult than many assume. Lordstown at least has a significant advantage in this regard. It purchased the Lordstown, Ohio, factory that General Motors closed in March 2019 and it plans to build the Endurance there starting in the fourth quarter of 2020. The company will rehire as many laid-off workers as possible; they’re men and women who know the plant inside and out, and bring a tremendous amount of experience in car-making to the project. Ramping up production in about a year sounds ambitious, even with a $40 million loan secured from General Motors.
If you’re convinced by Lordtown’s approach to electrifying the pickup truck segment, you can send the company a refundable, $100 deposit to secure an early spot in line. The Endurance will carry a base price of $52,500 before incentives enter the equation. It will be the company’s first model, so buyers will be eligible to claim the full, $7,500 tax credit from the federal government. There’s no word yet on whether options and other variants will be available.
Updated on December 23, 2019: Added full technical specifications.
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