The Lordstown Endurance electric pickup will be hitting the road this fall, but it will be going off road before then.
The Ohio-based startup is entering one of its trucks in the SCORE International San Felipe 250 race across Baja, Mexico in April.
Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns told Fox News Autos in an exclusive interview that the goals are to become the first electric truck to finish the race and to prove the capability of its unique design, which features four in-wheel hub motors that are the drivetrain's only moving parts.
The full-size electric truck uses a skateboard-style design that incorporates the battery pack and all of the running gear into a flat chassis. The company has demonstrated the packaging by attaching just a seat and a roll cage and taking it out for a wet, wild and very dirty test drive. It's also developing a van, RV and SUV that will be built on it.
The race truck will use the production drivetrain, which is rated at 600 hp and draws its power from a 109 kilowatt-hour battery pack. Burns said it will get a suspension upgrade and custom body with safety equipment, but otherwise remain stock.
Aside from the punishing roads that it will face, the main challenge will be completing the race, which actually covers 290 miles. Preliminary specifications for the Endurance rate it at 250+ miles and Burns thinks it could cover the event's distance on the road, but not when it's being driven competitively through dirt and sand, so they will have a portable DC fast charger available along the course that should be able to recharge it within 30 to 90 minutes.
"With that recharge time, it might not let us win the race, our goal is to finish the race," Burns said.
The Endurance is starting out as a fleet-only product aimed at commercial customers, but Burns knows any pickup has to have some off-road capability and that a good showing should assuage concerns about its durability in real-world use.
Deliveries are scheduled to begin in September, which means Lordstown should beat Tesla, GMC and Ford to market with the first mass-produced full-size electric pickup, while Rivian's midsize lifestyle truck goes on sale in June. Lordstown already has 100,000 reservations for the $52,500 truck, not necessarily all of which will be converted to sales, and has entered beta production at its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant.