The all-new Lordstown Motors Endurance electric pickup truck finally debuted to a near-maskless crowd in Lordstown, Ohio this afternoon, with a drivetrain that supposedly only features four moving parts: a hub motor driving each wheel.
Using hub motors—electric motors that are housed within the wheel they power, removing the need for any driveshaft components—has a ton of benefits. For one, the hubs keep the vehicle’s center of gravity low, and mass is evenly spread to the four corners of the chassis. A reduction in moving parts in the drivetrain also results in greater maintenance efficiency, as there’s less stuff grinding around to wear down over time that would need to be replaced. The simplicity keeps the vehicle cheaper to produce, as there’s less complexity to manufacture and less parts to assemble. But it also keeps all of those now-defunct moving parts out of the way for more battery space.
Suspicious that some of this may be aesthetic, but then again, I can’t imagine there’s much room in there for aesthetics.
Lorsdtown didn’t detail any specs of the motors yet, but Ars Technica reports they are licensed from a company called Elaphe Propulsion Technologies, and here’s more on the details:
Lordstown will license-build the hub motors, which were designed by Elaphe Propulsion Technologies. Total power output is planned at 447kW (600hp), with a continuous torque output of 2,711Nm (2,000lb-ft). Peak torque will be a hefty 5,965Nm (4,400lb-ft), and a claimed 7,500lb (3,400kg) towing capacity.
But speaking of batteries, that’s the other thing Lordstown wasn’t ready to talk about at its big unveiling, unfortunately. That is the startup automaker way these days; sell today, explain later.
The company didn’t release any solid specs about the powertrain of the Endurance, only the few hub motor details and that it would have a range of around 250 miles on a charge. It’s unclear if that’s at some end of a scaled lineup of more or less powerful trims to come, but Lordstown CEO Steve Burns did proudly brag that the truck wasn’t available with leather.
We still also only have an idea of the interior from sketches, no photos:
I would like to know more!
We know from previous announcements that the new electric pickup will have a claimed towing capacity of up to 7,500 pounds and start at $52,500 before any federal or local tax incentives are accounted for. Considering Lordstown hasn’t made a single vehicle yet, it still has hundreds of thousands of cars to sell that would be eligible for at least the full federal tax rebate of up to $7,500, plus any state incentives you can pile on that.
But you need to build the cars to sell, and the plan for now is to get production rolling by January of 2021 at the plant the startup bought from General Motors in Lordstown, Ohio back in 2019. The company used to be called Workhorse before that, and it almost didn’t make it.
It will be interesting to see how Lordstown now progresses, considering Rivian, another EV pickup startup which proudly boasted its Detroit, Michigan Midwest foundation, is now moving most of its team to California due to what it claims to be a need for talent.
But as for the Endurance pickup itself, which we finally saw in person. Well, it looks like Mr. Incredible’s jaw in the front, and I hope people use that giant body-colored flat panel to either paint their own custom artwork or grille designs, or commission their friends to do it. That’d be a cool EV trend. Other than that, I’m a big sucker for stripe decals, and the Endurance’s Tron stripes are really doing something for me.
I just wish I knew more of what to expect from the truck with unique engineering, and less about the opinions of the Vice President in his thinly-veiled campaign rally at today’s announcement.