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New electric pick-up truck from an old General Motors plant

on June 30 2020 | in Highlights, Industry news, Latest news | by | with Comments Off

Lordstown Motors, the electric vehicle company that bought the former General Motors plant in the US state of Ohio, plans to have its first pick-up truck on the market early next year.

It will be called the Endurance, a double-cab four-wheel drive that starts at US$52,000 (NZ$80,000) and is powered by four in-hub electric motors said to generate 450kW.

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The battery-electric model has a reported top speed of 130km/h, a range of 400km, and a payload of 3400kg. Lordstown said it has already taken 14,000 orders. Other than that little is known about Endurance. Nothing about its battery pack, towing capacity, or charging times, for instance.

Lordstown Motors is named after the town in Ohio that housed the GM plant. GM opened it in 1966 to produce the Chevrolet Impala. The factory had been building Chevvy Cruze models before GM shut it down early last year.

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President Trump at the time criticised the closure and said GM boss Mary Barra had made a “big mistake.” GM advanced Lordstown Motors US$40m to buy the plant and now its CEO Steve Burns has said the company “is on track with its financing goals.”

It needs around US$450m to reconfigure the plant and get Endurance into production. Lordstown Motors has said it’s pursuing a loan from the same US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) programme that helped put Tesla on the map.

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Burns has told US news outlets that he feels Lordstown Motors is “very well-suited” for the loan, but that “by no means is our success contingent on it.”

But the DOE has not given out an ATVM loan in years, and the Trump administration wants to remove it from the 2021 budget altogether.  The White House has repeatedly tried to end the federal tax credit for electric vehicles and rolled back regulations that pressure carmakers to make cleaner cars.

EnduranceMain06The Endurance is entering a US market that is about to be crowded with electric pick-ups. Rivian, backed by Amazon and Ford, plans to sell an electric pick-up truck and SUV starting in 2021.

An electric version of GM’s Hummer is due late in 2021. Tesla plans to start building its electric Cybertruck around then too. The Ford F-150, the most popular truck in the US, is getting an electric variant in 2022.

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