The electric truck wars are about to begin.
The Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T are not the only two all-electric pickup trucks that will soon be on the market. Lordstown Motors will soon plant its roots at the idled Lordstown manufacturing facility, previously home to the discontinued Chevy Cruze.
The truck will reportedly be called Endurance, and Reuters has learned it will have its official debut this June at the 2020 Detroit Auto Show. Currently, Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns is finalizing details for a $200 million loan from the US Energy Department, whose money is needed to retool the factory. "We think we are worthy of government help. We don't want a handout - we want a loan," Burns said. "It's just going to be more jobs faster if we get it. We are viable without it."
Assuming the loan amount is approved and things proceed as scheduled, production of the all-electric truck will hopefully get underway by the end of this year. GM previously sold the plant to Lordstown Motors for a reported $20 million last November, though GM also provided the new company a $40 million loan to buy and retool the plant. Up until March 2019, the facility built Chevrolet vehicles for over 50 years and employed thousands of people. Lordstown Motors intends to hire 400 people, a figure that will hopefully grow in time.
Burns was previously head of the Cincinnati, Ohio-based Workhorse Group, which is currently in competition to build new mail delivery trucks for the US Postal Service.
If it wins the contract, it's certainly possible those new plug-in hybrid vehicles will be manufactured at Lordstown as well. But the big question will be whether or not the Lordstown Motors Endurance will have what it takes to successfully compete against what Tesla and Rivian will soon have to offer. Early reports indicate it will have 600 horsepower and an EPA-estimated range of 200 miles or more. Pricing will begin at around $45,000, including the $7,5000 federal tax credit.
In the not too distant future, a pure electric Ford F-150 is planned while Chevrolet and Ram are working on their own EV truck projects.