Ohio-based Lordstown Motors is focusing on fleet customers with its upcoming Endurance electric pickup. With a partnership announced Tuesday afternoon, Endurance owners will have a service network, and Lordstown potentially has a new direction to grow its business: electric RVs.
Lordstown announced a business relationship with Illinois-based Camping World that will start with a national service and collision network for the Endurance, then expand to “the development of new EV products and solutions for the RV marketplace based on the Endurance platform.”
That includes, initially, plans to provide an integrated, lithium-ion battery pack for travel trailers that would eliminate the need for noisy, polluting standalone generators. Eventually the partnership aims to produce the first all-electric high-volume-production RV.
Within the partnership, the two companies will be concurrently developing the battery technology. Although nothing was said about the cells that might be used in such packs, Lordstown plans to use 2170-format cylindrical lithium-ion cells in the Endurance—the format that Tesla uses in the Model 3 and Model Y.
In a press conference attended virtually by Green Car Reports Tuesday, Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns pointed to the 800,000-square-foot battery facility that’s planned next door to the Ohio plant and noted that if it can fill production capacity sooner with such RV products, “it’s a no-brainer.”
The executives explained that the plan is to build the battery for the travel trailer at the Ohio facility, as well as a future Class C motorhome built on the skateboard platform of the Lordstown Endurance—essentially a pickup cab chassis with a new body fitted on top.
The electric RV will be affordable for the masses, the companies claimed, with Millennials in mind as they’re the future of the industry.
Press conference for electric RV - Lordstown Motors plant
“The end goal is that we’re going to have more people working here than GM did in its heyday,” said Burns, speaking from the Lordstown facility, which the startup purchased from GM in 2019.
Marcus Lemonis, the CEO of Camping World, said that the company aims to be ready to service the Endurance in a “mock environment” in June 2021—even though vehicles won’t be delivered to fleet customers until later in the year.
Camping World has 170 locations, almost 2,000 service bays, nationwide roadside assistance, and four distribution centers. “We’re going to have the best service that any EV company has ever had,” said Burns. “To fleets that really value uptime it is super important.”
As an accompanying move to all these plans, the companies are aiming to establish a “Good Sam” charging network at Camping World locations, which tend to be along major highways.
Prototypes for the travel trailer will be made by summer 2021, and Lemonis confirmed that will be a 2022 model. The electric RV would come later.