Time to turn up the heat of the electric skateboard.
Things are progressing quickly at Ohio-based Lordstown Motors, makers of the all-electric Endurance full-size truck. This segment is quickly heating up with the all-electric Ford F-150 due to arrive next year. How the Endurance will handle the new competition remains to be seen, but the threat of new rivals isn't stopping Lordstown from partaking in more adventurous pursuits.
It has just announced the Endurance Beta Skateboard platform will compete in the San Felipe 250 desert race in Baja California, Mexico this April. This 290-mile single loop starts and finishes in San Felipe and is considered one of the most grueling and difficult on the planet. But why take this platform to Baja, aside from it being an incredible adventure?
Because Lordstown wants to prove to any remaining skeptics its technology and platform can handle anything. "We feel that it is quite a significant milestone for the electric vehicle community that an electric pickup truck can compete in an environment as demanding as Baja California," said Steve Burns, CEO of Lordstown Motors. "Our goal is to be the first electric vehicle to ever complete the San Felipe 250, and with the superior traction, weight balance, and advanced software control of our hub motor-based Endurance, we are confident that we will do just that."
The truck's powerplant certainly seems up for the task, consisting of a 109-kWh battery pack with 250 miles of range on a single charge while the four electric motors - one at each wheel - for a total of 600 horsepower and around 4,400 lb-ft of torque. It can also tow up to 7,500 pounds.
Chances are the racing team will need to recharge the vehicle at least once because of the harsh terrain; the lack of nicely paved roads will surely have an impact on range. How will they recharge in the middle of the desert? One possibility is a portable generator. Another is the potential for a battery swap, although this could be complicated. Lordstwon's release was very specific in saying that it wouldn't actually be the Endurance as we know it that would be racing, but rather the skateboard platform on which it's built. This could mean custom bodywork and even a swappable battery - although only time will tell.
It's also worth bearing in mind that like any racing team, they'll be carrying some additional weight like spare tires, tools, and possibly the aforementioned generator. We're sure Lordstown will provide more details as race day gets closer.