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  4. Lordstown Endurance EV Pickup Reveal: You Won’t Believe Who Got Out of the Passenger’s Seat

Lordstown Endurance EV Pickup Reveal: You Won’t Believe Who Got Out of the Passenger’s Seat

American truck set to make history in Lordstown, Ohio.

The Lordstown Endurance, an all-electric pickup truck on track to be built by Lordstown Motor Corp. (LMC) at the ex-GM factory in Lordstown, Ohio, has stepped into the limelight with a bang. LMC CEO Steve Burns drove the preproduction Lordstown Endurance onto a stage framed by an American flag and prominent Lordstown logo—and then Vice President Mike Pence stepped out of the passenger's seat.

Burns is the former CEO of Workhorse, which owns 10 percent of Lordstown Motors. The defunct General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio, which most recently produced the Chevrolet Cruze but closed in 2018, is now the Lordstown Motors headquarters. Although the company hasn't been around long, it has intellectual property agreements with Workhorse and loans from GM for the plant purchase to hopefully turn its EV truck concept into an assembly-line-built production model.

Recreational truck owners may need another year to get onboard with the idea of EV trucks, but it seems at least a few commercial fleets have already become electric-truck believers. In fact, Lordstown is really targeting commercial fleets with the Endurance rather than the luxury truck market. For example, Servpro, a fire and water restoration company, signed a letter of intent for the purchase of 1,200 Endurance trucks. Instead of focusing on extravagant dazzle and luxurious trims, the Endurance touts functionality and an attractive total cost of ownership: for example, in-wheel electric hub motors increase simplicity by reducing the number of moving (and breaking) parts and allowing for power take-off capability.

Outside of its front end, the Lordstown Endurance's outer appearance resembles a traditional modern pickup truck. While the bluff face may generate its fair share of flak, remember an EV doesn't have the traditional combustion-engine cooling requirements that help determine the styling of the pickups on market today. Not surprisingly, the squared wheel wells, the cab, and the proportions most resemble a GM truck. There's even a bumper step that bears resemblance to that used by GM. The head- and taillights are super slender and near-futuristic without going too far out of bounds, while the side stripes add a touch of athleticism and tie in nicely with the lighting elements.

Although we haven't seen the interior, the sketches look pretty legit for a no-frills workhorse (not Workhorse). We can't wait to see what that giant rectangular dash display looks like all lit up—if it makes it to production. The dash almost resembles that in current Mercedes-Benzes. One sketch hones in on a pushbutton shifter on the center stack, with separate gear selector switches for park, reverse, neutral, and drive, rather than a knob like Ram, a console shifter like Ford, or a column-shifter like GM. The three knobs under the shift controls may be switches for various features like the radio and climate control. Another sketch details a storage pocket between cup holders and a knob of some sort. The door panel highlights a bottle holder, convenient for contractors and fleet applications.

Rather than the myriad moving parts of today's gasoline and diesel trucks, the electric chassis underpinnings of the Lordstown Endurance feature an in-wheel drive system with integrated software that controls four hub motors. The company says the hub motors are 95 percent efficient and result in a 75-MPGe efficiency rating. Lordstown calls it true four-wheel drive—which technically it is—but we suspect four-wheeler old-timers might push back at the notion. Lordstown claims the system produces 600 horsepower and offers a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds, a top speed of 80 mph, and a zero-to-60-mph time of 5.5 seconds. The Endurance can charge in 30 to 90 minutes on a fast charger and has a range of 250 miles. It comes with a three year bumper-to-bumper warranty and an eight-year battery warranty. The base price of the Lordstown is slated to be $52,500 before any possible tax credits.

Like the Tesla Cybertruck, Rivian R1T, Bollinger B2, electric Ford F-150, electric Chevrolet Silverado, and GMC Hummer EV, the Lordstown Endurance does not actually exist as a vehicle you can purchase—yet. No manufacturer big or small has an EV truck for sale, and 2021 is the earliest any EV truck will likely hit the market. The Lordstown Endurance reveal confirms that the future of EV pickup trucks is bright and that the dawn of a new era of new powertrains, competing against the established gasoline and diesel options, is imminent.

Although early 2021 still seems quite ambitious for a small startup company like Lordstown Motors to begin production, considering it only started operations in November 2019, CEO Steve Burns holds firm to his goal of being the first manufacturer to deliver a fully electric pickup truck to market. In fact, the company wants to build 20,000 Endurances in 2021. Allegedly there are 14,000 presold units already. Beating the big players to market would be a bragging right, but unless the stars perfectly align, it's unlikely Lordstown will initially compete with big fish and established names like Ford and GM. Preorders can be made on the Lordstown website with a $100 deposit.

The Lordstown Endurance also symbolizes hope for Ohio's Steel Valley, a charge of energy for what Burns hopes will eventually be called the Voltage Valley as its sprawling, 6.2-million-square-foot plant ramps up and provides the surrounding cities with jobs.