Lordstown Motors is planning to use a former GM facility near Cleveland, Ohio, to effectively beat GM to the punch—in offering an all-electric, made-in-America pickup. 

“Our goal is to build the first electric pickup truck in the United States and likely the world,” said CEO Steve Burns, in a video (below) released last Wednesday. 

If Lordstown wants to hold to Burns’ words and beat the first American-made electric pickup, it’s on a very tight timeline. The Rivian R1T is expected to have a production start in Illinois by the end of the year, while the electric pickups from GM and Ford, Bollinger, and even the Tesla Cybertruck, could all be arriving in the second half of 2021. 

The company is starting to tease the upcoming truck, called Endurance, which it says will be “the first all-electric pickup truck designed for modern work.”

Workhorse W-15 extended-range electric pickup truck

Workhorse W-15 extended-range electric pickup truck

Lordstown Motors is essentially the relaunch of the pickup project from Workhorse, a separate company that had back in 2017 reported $300 million in pre-orders for its W-15 electric truck

Lordstown hasn’t yet revealed how much more of the Workhorse truck has translated to the Endurance, but we expect quite a bit has carried over. The W-15 was to be built on clean-slate body-on-frame layout, with 18650-format Panasonic cylindrical cells powering it—much like the Tesla Model S and Model X—packaged between the frame rails. 

The W-15 was also to have a frunk for gear to be stowed away out of sight, and a power takeoff for power tools and the like. 

The new company appears to have abandoned the plan to offer a range extender—the BMW 1.5-liter, used in the BMW i8 and now the Karma Revero GT. Another thing Lordstown might be more likely to change, now that the range extender is out of the picture, is add DC fast charging. 

At the time the W-15 was taking form, the 60-kwh battery pack allowed about 80 miles of year-round range for the truck before the range extender needed to kick in. 

Lordstown Motors Endurance

Lordstown Motors Endurance

The Endurance promises to be quite different than other pickups due to its hub-motor system, which frees up space under the truck and mounts the motors inside the wheel hub. 

A number of suppliers like Elaphe, Protean, and Nidec, and have developed modern in-wheel motors that fit in about the space of an old-style drum brake. One issue, their “unsprung mass,” makes tuning the ride and handling of a vehicle more complicated, but it may be easier to accommodate in a truck like the Endurance. 

Lordstown hasn’t revealed specs for the Endurance yet, but the W-15 has dual motors together making 460 horsepower, with a payload of 2,200 pounds and a tow rating of 5,000 pounds. 

Like the W-15, the Endurance is first and foremost aimed at commercial users, with a core company mission to “to empower the working spirit.”

Watch the video below. Hopefully by the time the Endurance reaches the market, with the other trucks close in tow if everything goes right, an electric version of that working spirit won’t feel so fringe after all.