Lordstown Motors released a handful of updates on its efforts to get an electric pickup truck into production at a discarded General Motors factory, including a statement on the company's response to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The company released the first of what it said will be a series of videos showing CEO Steve Burns testing a prototype of the truck, called Endurance, albeit with a "donor" body over the Lordstown-developed "Alpha" chassis.
The video doesn't show the entire truck, though. It's highly framed around of the wheel-hub motors that power the truck, as well as bits of the suspension, which get a workout as the truck negotiates some uneven terrain.
The Endurance could be the first widely-available production vehicle with wheel-hub motors, which roughly fit in the space of old-style drum brakes.
Moving the motors to the wheels frees up more space elsewhere, but also increases "unsprung mass," the mass that isn't supported by the suspension. That could make tuning ride and handling more difficult, although it may be less of an issue for a truck like the Endurance.
Lordstown also addressed the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In a statement, the company said employees are now working from home, but are continuing development work on the Endurance.
Lordstown Motors Endurance
"We are working to maintain our schedule, which is dependent upon the performance of our partners and suppliers," the company said.
Burns previously said he wanted Lordstown to be the first to launch an electric pickup truck in the United States. To do that, the company will likely have to get the Endurance into production before mid-2021, at which point trucks from Rivian, Tesla, Ford, and General Motors may already be on sale.
The company bought the former General Motors factory in its namesake Ohio town in 2019 for an undisclosed amount. The factory, which last built the Chevrolet Cruze compact, was one of several shuttered by GM in a large-scale cost-cutting scheme.
The Endurance is essentially the relaunch of the Workhorse W-15, and extended-range electric pickup truck announced in 2015. Lordstown has abandoned plans for a gasoline range extender, however, opting for an all-electric powertrain.
Workhorse previously claimed roughly 6,000 pre-orders for the W-15, which was marketed to fleet operators rather than individual buyers. Those pre-orders will be transferred to Lordstown.
Lordstown CEO Steve Burns is also the founder of Workhorse, which is based in Ohio but has an assembly facility for electric delivery vans in Indiana.