Trucks.com drove an early version of the Lordstown Motors Corp. Endurance pickup truck when it was a Workhorse Group prototype. Here’s what we discovered.
But first, LMC, a startup by former Workhorse Chief Executive Steve Burns, said it has begun to take pre-orders. The Lordstown Endurance will cost $52,500, before tax credits and other environmental incentives. Those would take $10,000 off the price of an Endurance sold in California. Other states vary.
Lordstown is targeting sales at fleets but said it also plans to sell to individual consumers.
The company, a venture formed to build electric trucks at the former General Motors’ factory in Lordstown, Ohio, is asking for a $1,000 order deposit. It announced order-taking on the same day Tesla Chief Executive is set to debut an electric pickup truck. General Motors also chimed in Thursday, saying it plans to have an electric truck for sale in 2021.
LMC said its truck would beat the others to the market and “will hit the road” late next year.
Trucks.com drove the Workhorse W-15 back in 2017 at a green vehicle conference in Long Beach, Calif. The Endurance uses portions of the design and engineering of the W-15 electric pickup. Workhorse designed the W-15 pickup truck and built prototypes but never advanced to production. Instead, the company is focusing on building electric delivery vans for UPS and others. Workhorse licensed its pickup truck intellectual property to Lordstown in return for a 10 percent stake in the company. LMC inherited 6,000 pre-orders from Workhorse.
The short drive demonstrated that the vehicle had impressive power and the potential to become a dependable work truck. But there was far more engineering to be done. Typically there is much development between a demonstration prototype and a production vehicle.
The W-15 was powered by Panasonic lithium-ion battery cells lining the floor of the truck, which gave the truck the lowest center of gravity of any full-size production pickup, Burns said. The truck produced an estimated 450 horsepower.
It delivered power with a smooth consistency, better suited for the reliability needed under towing and hauling. Independent coil suspension on all four wheels provided a smoother ride than the leaf springs employed in most full-size pickups.
But it was fast. The truck went from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. The only sound was the faint whine of the electric motor and the creaks and clinks of a full-size pickup truck chassis twisting under acceleration.
EXTENDING THE RANGE
The W-15 was capable of 80 miles of all-electric range. It had a three-cylinder “range extender” engine under the hood that generates power for the electric motors when the batteries run low.
LMC is making some changes from the W-15 to the Endurance.
The pickup will utilize a 4-wheel-drive hub-motor system, LMC said. The design reduces the number of moving parts. LMC said this would reduce breakdowns and lower maintenance and operating expenses. Creating a low total cost of ownership – purchase price plus operating expense – is a crucial factor in winning fleet customers.