Several automakers, from Ford to Tesla, are planning to launch electric pickup trucks. But the Lordstown Motors Endurance will have something that sets it apart from the rest—in-wheel hub electric motors.
Mounting the motors inside the wheel hub frees up more space, and offers the potential to more precisely control how much torque is sent to each wheel. Torque can be added or subtracted by adjusting the amount of current going to the motor, rather than using the clutch packs, differentials, or brake applications typically used to adjust torque split.
Several suppliers—including Elaphe, Protean, and Nidec—have developed in-wheel motors, but the technology has received little interest from automakers. One obstacle is the additional unsprung mass of in-wheel motors, which makes tuning ride and handling more difficult.
Lordstown hasn't released specs for the Endurance yet, but the truck is essentially a relaunch of the Workhorse W-15, which had dual motors making a combined 460 horsepower. Workhorse previously quoted a maximum payload of 2,200 pounds, and maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds.
Teaser for 2021 Lordstown Endurance
Workhorse had planned to offer a gasoline rang extender in the W-15, but those plans appear to have been abandoned by Lordstown. The new company hasn't mentioned a range extender so far.
Lordstown was formed by Workhorse CEO Steve Burns to acquire the idled General Motors factory in Lordstown, Ohio, which last built the Chevrolet Cruze. Lordstown will take over all existing orders for the W-15.
Lordstown says the Endurance carries a base price of $52,500. It is accepting $1,000 refundable deposits for early build slots. In comparison, Tesla says its Cybertruck starts at $39,900.
Neither vehicle has entered series production. Lordstown could beat Tesla to production, however. While Cybertruck production isn't scheduled to start until 2021, Lordstown has said it will start deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2020. Lordstown is also targeting commercial fleets, while the Cybertruck is aimed for at individual retail buyers.
The Rivian R1T and Bollinger B2—two more electric pickup trucks from new companies—are also set to start production in 2020. Among more established automakers, Ford is planning an electric F-150, and General Motors has announced the GMC Hummer EV electric pickup.