Lordstown Motors’ desert race performance raises questions about truck’s efficiency

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The race demonstrated that the Endurance is a very capable vehicle but ultimately, it's going to depend on does it meet the average American's needs for cost and effectiveness?

(WKBN) – Lordstown Motors’ Endurance pickup truck took on a race in the Mexican desert this past weekend and hit a few bumps. Will the result of the race impact the Endurance’s future?

The Endurance kicked plenty of sand around in the desert and got tested. Deep sand, a bumpy terrain and the heat stressed the motor hubs, frame and battery packs.

The truck went 40 miles to the first recharging stop. CEO Steve Burns said all of the equipment looked fine, but the next leg was 25 miles longer.

“We didn’t finish the race because the desert terrain really uses a lot of energy, more than we had anticipated,” Burns said.

Lordstown Motors didn’t know if the Endurance could complete the next section before being able to charge again, plus they didn’t want to block the course. So, the Endurance dropped out.

We asked an auto industry expert how much the Endurance’s performance matters.

“Demonstrated it’s a very capable vehicle but ultimately, it’s going to depend on does it meet the average American’s needs for costs, effectiveness and efficiency?” said expert Dave Cole.

Lordstown Motors felt the truck stood up to the conditions and terrain, they just hadn’t expected the off-road course to be so demanding on the battery. Still, the company felt what they learned during the race could ultimately help make the truck better.

“Later this year when we come out with the Endurance, you can bet there will be a little bit of Baja in every Endurance,” Burns said.

Lordstown Motors is racing to put the first all-electric pickup on the market. They know pickup owners use them for many things, such as towing and hauling. But the most important factor might be the electric battery and can it come close to what the driver is getting from their truck now?

“Ultimately, the solution is going to depend on can they make the average American happy in terms of what those costs are going to be?” Cole said.

Cole said the magic number right now in the EV world is $100 per kilowatt-hour. Most vehicles cost $130-150 per kilowatt-hour. So whoever reaches that lower cost first is going to have an advantage.

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