I suppose what I really should be focused on in this post is that Lordstown Motors, the EV truck-building startup that re-purposed GM’s old Chevy Cruz factory and has been accused of faking orders and generally seeming pretty precarious, is actually building some electric trucks! A Jalopnik reader with a good eye sent us these photos of what appear to be five Lordstown Endurance trucks, all finished! That’s a big deal. But I can’t quit looking at the shitty taillights.
Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns had claimed that by September, Lordstown would be actually building trucks, and here it is September, and, yep, they’ve built at least five, which isn’t a big confirmed number, but it is four more than there are Tesla Cybertrucks, if that helps.
I don’t think anyone outside of the Lordstown company knows for sure just how many trucks have been built, so I’m going to limit my commentary to what I can actually assess: the quality of those taillights.
Let’s look at them:
In this golden age of vehicular lighting that we’re all currently fortunate enough to be living in, I think such half-assed approaches to taillights are just not acceptable.
There are a bunch of tiny lights all scattered around and hidden in those black bands, and they mostly look like off-the-shelf marker lamps, like they sent an intern to Pep Boys with $40 over lunch to sort this all out.
The image above shows my best guess as to the function of the lights; I could be wrong about all of this, of course, and it’s possible that what looks like a tiny clear lens for a reverse lamp is something else entirely.
Plus, the side marker solution separates the legally-mandated illuminated portion from the reflecting portion, which also feels cheap and weird. And not good-weird. Just cheap-ass-weird.
Either way, from a taillight perspective, this is a bit of a disaster. Sure, the overall rear end has a clean look about it, but those scattered little cheap-looking lights do a lot of detracting, and in actual operation these seem like they’d be difficult to see and process effectively.
I take no joy in dumping more uncertainty and negativity onto Lordstown Motors’ already beleaguered shoulders, but I just can’t let poor taillight design go unpunished.
They knew what they were getting into.
UPDATE: Okay, good news, taillight enthusiasts: these are not the production taillights. I was schooled, only mildly snippily, on twitter, where the world goes for snippy scoldings:
This is good news for everyone. Those thin horizontal taillights are a vast improvement, and I think the real lesson here is that pre-production vehicles with no other camouflage but placeholder taillights should bear obvious markings like WARNING: TAILLIGHT DESIGN NOT FINALIZED to prevent this manner of fiasco in the future.
I think what threw me is that these placeholder lights were, strangely, not shitty enough. Attempts were made to fit them into those black bands, and seemed just plausible enough. I’ll be more careful in the future, I promise.