Lordstown Motors blames 'demanding' terrain for Endurance exit from desert race
Lordstown Motors Corporation has issued an explanation as to why its electric pickup truck dropped out of Saturday’s desert race after completing a fraction of the course.
Official results from organizers of the San Felipe 250 held in Mexico’s rugged Baja Peninsula show that LMC’s Endurance Entry reached 39.8 miles of the 280-mile course.
A statement from LMC issued on Monday said that the terrain proved to be more demanding than anticipated.
By the first charging stop, 40 miles into the race the truck had been using so much energy, the team was concerned that the Endurance may not be able to reach the next charging station 65 miles away and 1,500 feet uphill in mountainous terrain, according to the statement.
“In our pre-race estimates, we assumed a 3X energy usage compared to normal road conditions at 200 ft. elevation,” according to the statement from LMC’s public relations firm Otto and Friends. “Following stage 1, however, our data showed consumption at 4 times the normal level.”
LMC said that although it was out of the race, the Endurance drove an additional ten miles off the course to provide more insights and feedback about the truck’s capabilities.
Expressing satisfaction with the performance of the Endurance, LMC said the race showed that the truck’s unique electric hubs, drive train, frame, and battery pack can stand up to a harsh environment.
Although the company praised the thermal management system’s ability to keep components cool during the race, LMC noted that the Endurance needed larger tires to navigate through sand, requiring more energy than estimated.
LMC says it will use the information to further develop the Endurance which is scheduled to begin full production in about six months.
Of the 270 vehicles that started the desert race only 187 completed the course.
The Endurance was one of only two vehicles in the Baja-e electric class entered in the race, neither of which finished.
The other Baja-e class vehicle completed 157 miles of the course.
The Lordstown Motors website lists the range of the Endurance as 250 miles.
As Lordstown Motors works toward a goal of beginning production of the all-electric Endurance at the former GM Assembly Plant, the company faces a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into claims made about pre-orders of the vehicles.
In addition, a class-action lawsuit filed by investors in federal court alleges that company executives fraudulently inflated the value of the company’s stock.
LMC CEO Steve Burns has said he is cooperating with the SEC investigation and will fight the lawsuit.