When it rains it pours, right? Lordstown Motors, maker of the battery-electric Endurance pickup, received more bad news when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rated the Endurance as able to go 174 miles on a charge. We hope this is a mistake or misunderstanding like what happened to the Porsche Taycan, and IRL range is higher. Way back in 2019, Lordstown said the Endurance would be rated to go at least 200 miles. In 2021, when the company showed its chassis and revealed a 109-kWh battery, Lordstown got bullish in saying the truck would go at least 250 miles on the EPA cycle, an efficiency of at least 436 Wh per mile assuming 109 kWh was the usable pack capacity. That efficiency wasn’t too far off from the EPA’s figure of 480 Wh per mile, within fingertip reach of the four-wheel drive Ford F-150 Lightning Pro’s 490 Wh per mile.
But the Endurance’s miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) came in at a paltry 48 mpg combined. The same F-150 Lightning gets 68 MPGe combined and goes 240 miles on a smaller 98-kWh battery. The Endurance can tow more than the Lightning with the Standard Battery and 5.5-foot box, but the Ford has a little more than double the payload capacity. The Ford’s MSRP not including destination undercuts the Lordstown pickup by $399. Or, for about $4,000 more, a buyer could get the F-150 XLT that’s much nicer than both the Lightning Pro and the Endurance. And there’s the suite of Ford Pro services that Lightning buyers have access to.
Rivian makes the only other electric pickup on the market now, but a 135-kW pack is the smallest that can be fitted at the moment; the 105-kWh pack still isn’t in production. While the Rivian on 20-inch wheels is a little less efficient in EPA testing, at 520 Wh per mile, the R1T still gets 64 MPGe.
There’s still a place for a pickup with 174 miles of range on the market — plenty of vehicles in commercial vehicle fleets won’t cover that distance in a workday. But we can’t see a place for the Endurance at the price Lordstown wants. If the pickup charged as much as Ford did for the Lightning Pro at launch, we could see a way out of this latest mess.
The EPA numbers put pressure on Lordstown’s ability to find a place for itself, as a company, in the market. A number of nascent electric-vehicle makers have been hit with warnings from the NASDAQ stock exchange this year about stock prices being too low. When a stock falls below $1 per share for more than 30 days, the company risks being delisted. Mullen already worked through the issue, performing a stock split that got the price temporarily above $1; it’s back under $0.80 at the time of writing. Nikola Motors is working through that issue now, trying to get shareholders to approve a stock split at a meeting this week. And Lordstown is hard against the same rock, its shareholders already having approved a 1:15 reverse stock split in May that got the share price up to $3.40 at the time of writing.
In Lordstown’s case, the typical fallout from delisting would be made worse by affecting funding agreements it has with Foxconn. The Chinese manufacturer said it would cancel the deal to buy 10% of Lordstown’s common stock for $43.7 million if Lordstown weren’t on the stock exchange. The question is how does Lordstown stay above the $1 water line with an expensive, troubled truck that hasn’t begun to prove the maker’s claims.