By on May 26, 2020

Lordstown Motors

A fledgling electric vehicle company with a sprawling former General Motors plant in its possession will reveal its first model in late June.

That’s according to Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns, who said the debut of the Endurance, originally slated for the Detroit auto show, will take place online instead. A full-size pickup that shuns internal combustion, the Endurance will face still competition from the Likes of Ford, Rivian, and GM in the emerging segment, though Lordstown doesn’t plan to stop there.

Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, Burns said he plans to make good use of the former Chevrolet Cruze plant’s 6.2 million square feet. Following the June reveal, reservation holders should get their hands on the Endurance starting in 2021. After that, Burns envisions an SUV and a midsize electric pickup.

To do that, Lordstown needs cash, and Burns remained pretty silent on the financial front, saying only that things are track, coronavirus notwithstanding. Initial fundraising efforts had the plant’s retooling effort in mind, which carried a price tag far above that of the plant itself. GM offloaded in a $20 million fire sale. To build the Endurance, which Burns says has already amassed several thousand pre-orders, the plant expects to hire about 600 workers next year. A larger cohort will be required in 2022.

Eventually, the plant could play host to workers numbering 3,000 to 4,000, Burns said. Prophetic or a pipe dream, history will bear that prediction out.

“We didn’t buy a mass volume plant like this and not plan to fill it up,” Burns told Freep. “This is a gem of a building built for volume manufacturing.”

The plan is for Lordstown to build 30 pre-production Endurance trucks by December, then start fulfilling orders. Production of battery packs and in-wheel motors will be an in-house affair — out of necessity. It’s made progress on that front, licensing with Elaphe Propulsion Technologies to built the Model L-1500 Endurance In-Wheel Motor. That news came May 12th.

With sustained demand unsure given the segment’s current ethereal form and the lengthy list of future players, Lordstown plans to drive scale with models sharing the Endurance’s platform. “The architecture is easy to change for a midsize pickup or an SUV, so we’re trying to accommodate multiple vehicles besides the Endurance,” Burns said.

[Image: Lordstown Motors]

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26 Comments on “Lordstown Motors Claims Late-June Pickup Reveal, Future SUV...”


  • avatar
    redapple

    GM Lordstown. Radical workforce.
    Great Toilet Door Strike.

    I ll bet None of the GM hourly staff get hired at Lordstown Motors.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      “GM Lordstown. Radical workforce.
      Great Toilet Door Strike.”

      How is 1973? It’s been so long ago, I’ve forgotten… Besides, the people you’re referencing retired long ago and are probably dead. I’ve got to tell you the union is waaaay different here in the 21st Century than the 20th.

      “I ll bet None of the GM hourly staff get hired at Lordstown Motors.”

      The CEO of Lordstown Motors has publicly stated he would allow a union if the workforce wants one. OTOH, the folks who wanted to retain their GM job have probably moved on to the next assignment, i.e. GM Gypsies. The ones that didn’t move, are possibly waiting for the new battery plant. But they’re just getting around to the infrastructure for the plant, so they’ve got a bit of wait. Mr Burns will get workers, but I don’t know how many will be former UAW members.

      • 0 avatar
        bobbysirhan

        It was 2008 when the UAW struck against the successful new Malibu shortly before GM declared bankruptcy. The UAW saw it as a good target because it was in demand and critically acclaimed. What century was that?

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          What century do you think it is, exactly?

          Redapple seems to think that it’s still 1973, which is why I thought it relevant to ask.

          Good question, though. But… There wasn’t a strike in 2008. There was one in 2007 that lasted all of three days and essentially resulted in the VEBA pension guarantees and the increased usage of temps in factories.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Saw this USA Today article earlier today:
    https://tinyurl.com/MoreAdsThanThePrintVersion

    A couple of ‘provocative’ quotes from Mr. Burns:
    • “If you’re stuck in the mud next to a traditional pickup, we’ll come out first,” Burns said… it can get out of a jam, such as the mud, because it has a precise, computer-controlled motor built into each wheel. The software slows down the wheels, preventing slippage, giving the vehicle better traction than a traditional pickup, Burns said.
    • “After hundreds of years of refinement and countless hours of engineering, a pickup truck only gets about 17 mpg and it’s not going to get any better,” Burns said. “So it really needs a reset. We’re not coming out with a 10% better pickup truck, we’re coming out with a 500% better pickup truck and it’s safer, it’s quieter and it’s fun to drive and it costs less to own.”

    There’s more. (You’ll find his ‘moving parts’ count interesting – and hopefully incorrect.)

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    It’s always “next year” with Burns. The Workhorse pickup was “next year” for years and years and years and now it’s dead. Their chances of success are Slim and None and Slim just left town.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @Imagefont: Actually, Workhorse made many pickups using alternative fuel–most specifically running on propane while keeping a functional and connected gasoline tank as a reserve (or did that work the other way around?) It wasn’t until Workhorse committed to going BEV or at least PHEV that they decided to change the name and then they changed it to the name of the factory in which they plan to build it.

      • 0 avatar
        Imagefont

        I was referring to the perpetually delayed and non-existent W15 truck, for which they claimed to have at least dozens of reservations.
        Yes they did install alternative drivetrains in existing trucks, but that’s not the same thing.
        Lordstown Motors is a scam, they will not build this newly hyped truck or any original ground-up vehicle. They could potentially build more retrofits to existing commercial vehicles but that will remain a niche business.
        They will never, ever make any money.
        They will Burn(s) any cash they can get heir hands on.
        They will miss every deadline they set for themselves.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I think the only weakness I can see here is the in-wheel motors. I expect they’ll turn out to be lower in total output power and more troublesome than Tesla’s “can” motors.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Lots of unsprung weight for sure.
      Will be a challenging suspension design project.
      It will save some significant money on shafts and joints, no t-case needed, etc.
      Let the marketplace determine the winner.

      As for power and reliability, large off road mining haulers have used wheel motors for many decades so that could be good experience to build on.

      • 0 avatar
        Imagefont

        Mining trucks have no suspension, they just rely on the very deep sideway of their enormous tires to do the job. They also don’t go very fast – not because they can’t because it’s not called for at a mine. I doubt the tech from a 320 ton haul truck will make it’s way into a 1/2 ton pickup.

        • 0 avatar
          indi500fan

          I spent several years as an engineer at a manufacturer of mining trucks. Yes they do have suspensions. Quite sophisticated ones actually, typically nitrogen / oil struts where the compressed nitrogen is the spring medium and the oil is used for damping via orifices.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @indi500fan: Those large, off-road mining haulers also have 10-foot tall tires on a 6-foot diameter wheel, if not larger. Much more room to work with to provide the necessary torque for hauling 50-100 tons of ore around. For those things, the tires themselves are the major part of the suspension.

        @bobbysirhan: While true, the most common version of the cyber truck will have two motors, one on each axle, typically rated somewhere around 300hp apiece, with the low-cost version with a single driven axle (rear) and the high-end model with THREE motors, one for the front axle and one each for the two rear wheels on separate ‘axles’ for a potential horsepower equivalent of around 900hp or more. do you think those un-sprung wheel motors can provide that much total power? Personally I’m betting on around 60-80 hp each, if that much, for a total of 240-320 horses. Granted, I could be wrong, but I don’t think those relatively small in-wheel motors can do much better and maybe not even that well.

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          Took the chance last summer to tour the Bingham Canyon Mine (aka “Kennecott Copper Mine” but now owned by Rio Tinto) outside Salt Lake City – largest man-made excavation on the planet and the most productive copper mine in history. [I like copper – some of my favorite machines use copper.]

          When I was a kid reading about giant dump trucks, a typical capacity was 70-85 tons. 250-400 short tons [Will humans ever standardize on anything? e.g., 2000/2040/2,204.6226] is typical these days – which is amazing. The prototype Terex Titan (produced in Canada when Terex was part of GM) held the record for 25 years at 350 tons. There are rumors that a 500-ton capacity dump truck is produced in Belarus (Eight wheels? I have my doubts).

          The visitor experience at Bingham Canyon is different than it used to be, thanks to a pesky [and monumentally large] landslide.

          Also highly recommended: The National Mining
          Hall of Fame & Museum in Leadville, Colorado (don’t miss the Apollo exhibit).
          https://mininghalloffame.org/

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @ToolGuy: I accept that I was off on the big guys but the intent is the same–they’re simply so big that the wheel motors are huge. (Interesting how those were the first “hybrid” wheeled vehicles outside of trains; they both use Diesel-electric power.

            Well, until now. There’s one now running on battery power and reportedly makes more energy than it uses. It starts loaded at the top of a mountain and gains energy on the way down to drop off its load, then returns to the top on the energy generated by regenerative braking with enough energy to receive a load and start the cycle again.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Bob Lutz was on the board of VIA Motors who offered Silverado PHEV conversions.

      https://www.viamotors.com/electric-vehicles.html

  • avatar
    bobbysirhan

    As far as I can tell, Tesla’s motors weigh about 70 pounds a piece. A pickup with four motors probably doesn’t need each one to be as powerful as a Tesla motor, but a Tesla motor doesn’t have to survive the punishment of being unsprung. The benefit of individual motors at each wheel is that they can serve as computer-modulated brakes, greatly reducing the size and mass of the service brakes. The truck also won’t need driveshafts, further reducing mass.

    The downside is unsprung mass. The motors will have to be overbuilt to survive the beating, and there is nothing worse for ride and handling than an increase in unsprung mass. Can they make it work? Quite possibly. Will the resulting vehicle have the ride and handling we now expect of our trucks? Maybe with Bose active suspension, but then range will be measured in yards instead of miles.

  • avatar

    If you want to start a new company it is the time. While Big Guys are distracted. You can do it. Or you can sit behind keyboard and waste your time writing comments on TTAC.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    I thing the electric truck to beat is the Tesla CyberTruck! It still getting pre-orders!

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    I think the electric pickup truck to beat is the Tesla CyberTruck! It still getting pre-orders!

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