Lordstown Motors has made quite an impression in the short time that we've known about the company, with its first vehicle, the Endurance, arriving before its chief rival, the Tesla Cybertruck. Having proven that the Ford F-150 is no match for it in a tug-of-war, there's lots of interest in the truck from potential buyers. That's exactly what CEO Steve Burns would have been hoping for, but what he was not likely expecting was for his name to be taken literally by his employees. But that's just what happened, with a prototype burning to the ground just a little more than a mile from the Lordstown Motors Research and Development Center in Farmington Hills.
According to a report from local police and firefighters, three Lordstown engineers took the truck out for a test drive a little after midnight on January 13. These engineers told officials that they had been testing the vehicle when it developed a mechanical issue. After pulling over, the driver noticed a fire and swiftly made his exit. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but what caused this issue? According to the automaker, "it wasn't like the battery exploded, but something went wrong in the hand-build process that led to what caused the fire to start". This implies that human error was at fault, so at least the hardware and software are not to blame.
However, because the fire decimated the vehicle, pinpointing the exact cause will be difficult, even with a forensic investigation now underway. It seems highly unlikely that such an issue will present itself on production versions of the electric pickup truck, but it goes to show that firefighting has a lot of adapting to do so that electrical fires like these can be safely extinguished. At present, the general consensus is that an EV must be allowed to burn out, which is why EVs are even banned in some places. In this case, the fire caused damage to the surrounding grass and tree branches, so hopefully, it doesn't happen again.