Yet another startup automaker throws its hat in the electric pickup ring

lordstown motors electric pickup truck range specs pricing announced 2021 endurance sketch

The electric pickup truck floodgates have opened. As Tesla was unveiling its trigonometry-inspired Cybertruck, startup automaker Lordstown Motors released a sketch of a battery-powered pickup named Endurance, and revealed basic technical details about the model. The company boldly announced its truck will be the first to hit the market.

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 a four-wheel-drive powertrain that assigns one electric motor to each wheel, so four in total. Rivian — another entrant in this race — 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 teaser sketch suggests 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.

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 of 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, though.

If you’re convinced by Lordtown’s approach to electrifying the pickup truck segment, you can send the company a refundable, $1,000 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.