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2023 Lordstown Endurance Electric Truck Review
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First Drive: 2023 Lordstown Endurance Electric Truck Review

An outlier in the EV pickup truck race, we put this relatively unknown, Ohio-based electric to the test.

But up against strong rivals like the Ford F-150 Lighting we reviewed, the GMC Hummer EV we test drove in Arizona, and even the Tesla Cybertruck to name a few competitors, how will this full-size all-wheel-drive electric pickup truck with its unique drivetrain fare?

Also take a look at our electric truck guide here featuring all the models. Shopping for a used pickup? View all our pre-owned, certified trucks here.

Key Features:

  • Innovative drivetrain
  • Cost effective components

Direct Competitors:

  • Ford F-150 Lightning Pro
  • Chevrolet Silverado EV
  • Rivian R1T

First, who is Lordstown Motors and where did they come from?

“Who is Lordstown Motors? What is the Lordstown Endurance?”, you may ask – and you’re probably not alone. What sounds like a Downton Abbey marathon is actually the latest startup in the burgeoning electric pickup truck race. It’s unlikely that the Endurance will ever be a household name, given that it’s being marketed solely to fleet buyers.

The Ohio-based company has had a rather inauspicious beginning, with plenty of stumbles and pitfalls along the way. Founded in 2018, Lordstown purchased a 6.2 million square foot former General Motors plant, under-written by GM to the tune of US$40 million, with the goal of producing all-electric vehicles.

2023 Lordstown Endurance | Photo: Lesley Wimbush 

Lordstown paid US$12million to purchase the pre-existing Workhorse Group’s W-15 pickup truck design, and shortly thereafter listed on NASDAQ with an estimated value of US$1.6 billion. However, an investigation revealed that the company had been less than truthful about the demand for their trucks, grossly exaggerating the order numbers and financial commitment of interested companies. 

Not to mention their own ability to produce the vehicles. On the brink of bankruptcy, Lordstown announced that it was entering into a US$230 million joint venture with Foxconn, a Taiwanese contract tech assembler whose most notable client is Apple. Foxconn took ownership of the plant, where it’s producing Lordstown’s first vehicle, the Endurance pickup truck alongside its own Foxconn branded EVs. 

Meanwhile GM, who had invested some US$75 million in the company and had a seat on its board of directors, announced in 2021 that it had sold off its “small investment”, and after the SEC debacle, washed its hands of the deal. 

A new half-ton all-wheel-drive EV truck joins the party

The Endurance is a full-size all-wheel-drive electric pickup truck that was expected to debut in the U.S. by 2019. Financial, managerial, and production delays pushed that release date to the final quarter of 2022 – by which time Lordstown had vowed to deliver 50 vehicles to its first customers. 

They would be the first of 500 trucks that Lordstown hopes to have on the ground by the end of 2023. So far they’ve managed to produce only two full production vehicles. 

Endurance styling and towing capacity 

2023 Lordstown Endurance | Photo: Lesley Wimbush 

Outwardly, it looks like a conventional pickup truck, if a bit “storm-trooper” in design. Horizontal head and taillamps wrap around the corners, and a pair of black racing stripes break up the white sheet metal of our tester. 

EVs are inherently heavy, and extensive use of aluminum on hood, fenders, tailgate and doors, help keep the Endurance’s weight down to 6,450 lbs. The 66” long bed is composite lined and has a 1671 litre (59.3 cu. ft) cargo capacity and 1,050 lb payload. Under the front hood is a 10 cubic litre “frunk”. The Endurance can tow up to 8,000 lbs, and has a range of up to 200 miles (321 km). 

2023 Lordstown Endurance | Photo: Lesley Wimbush 

Lordstown Endurance interior and comfort features

The interior can best be described as “utilitarian”. It’s clearly designed for the fleet market, with none of the premium trim, or design flourishes expected of more mainstream fare. Seat adjustment is manual, and the steering wheel tilts, but doesn’t telescope.

Nevertheless, it’s comfortable and not unattractive, with dark grey cloth upholstery and plenty of rugged grey vinyl. The wide-opening doors and flat floor make loading people–and equipment– easy, and there’s plenty of leg and head room fore and aft for full-size adults. 

2023 Lordstown Endurance | Photo: Lesley Wimbush 

Between the front seats is a deep console, with two cupholders and a rotary gear selector. HVAC controls are straightforward and controlled by a round knob, likewise the sound volume. A wide panoramic screen takes up half of the dashboard in front of the driver, and integrates the gauge pod with what will presumably be an infotainment, apps screen. 

For now, the right hand part of the display lists basic vehicle functions, but Chi Yip, Lordstown’s Director of vehicle integration assured us that the vehicles will ship with all the requisite connectivity apps and fleet management software. 

Performance, EV range and driving impressions

Quick look at the Lordstown Endurance Specs: 

  • Powertrain: 4 in-hub AC synchronous electric motors
  • Horsepower: 440 hp
  • Torque: (lb.-ft.) 1500 Nm (1106 lb-ft) peak, 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) continuous at 1480 rpm

Like most of its competitors, the Endurance feels stable on the road with a low centre of gravity, thanks to the “skateboard” architecture’s underfloor battery pack.

Lordstown claims the Endurance puts out 440 hp but there’s no confirmed torque numbers yet. Acceleration is decent, but lacks the explosive punch of either the Ford Lightning, or Rivian R1T.

No matter – zero to sixty times aren’t high on the list of importance to a fleet manager. Apparently the Endurance has a top speed of 118 mph, but it’s governed at 75 mph. 

Lordstown Endurance driving impressions

Wind and road noise are more obvious than any of its competitors, and there are a few creaks and rattles. Again, not deal-breakers for a work vehicle. But the vehicle handles well for the most part, and its one-pedal drive system (which can be turned off) is smooth and not grabby.

However, over rough pavement, railroad tracks and such, the truck does lose some composure, exhibiting more jiggle and bounce. This is largely due to the vehicle’s unique drivetrain: four individual motors, one in each wheel hub.

2023 Lordstown Endurance | Photo: Lesley Wimbush 

Since each of those units weighs 75 lbs. – that’s 150 lbs of unsprung mass riding on a solid rear axle with leaf springs. Many companies have shied away from hub motor technology for that reason, but Chi Yip explained that given the truck’s heavy battery pack, its sprung weight was considerable, and therefore the “sprung mass to unsprung mass ratio wasn’t all that different from a regular pickup truck’s”.

The axle, leaf-spring setup is durable and inexpensive, there are no driveshafts or CV joints and boots to replace––again, to appeal to cost-conscious fleet managers.

About that drivetrain

Probably the most notable thing about the Endurance is its propulsion system. Instead of a pair of electric motors located at the axles, the Endurance is powered by an electric motor contained within each wheel hub. They deliver instant torque directly to the wheel, without any loss via driveshaft or torque distribution system.

For now there’s no vectoring or torque management, it’s strictly 50:50 front to rear. Interestingly, the hubs also contain drum brakes, which Yip explained were more cost-effective. With one-pedal drive the drum brakes would see far less wear and tear, and won’t seize with disuse like callipers can.

Energy is stored in a 109 kWh battery pack using lithium-ion cells. Using a DC fast charger, the Endurance takes about 45 minutes to reach 80% from a 20% level of charge. 

Verdict: is the Lordstown Endurance an electric full-size truck worth buying?

We’re not going to recommend you put the Endurance on the shopping list: unless you’re a fleet manager you can’t buy one anyway. Lordstown’s Chi Yip told us that they’d had interest from the military and airport industry – which would be a boon to this much-beleaguered company. 

2023 Lordstown Endurance | Photo: Lesley Wimbush 

There’s a lot to like about this interesting, work truck – innovative technology, cost-saving measures – but there are some caveats. The Endurance has yet to receive a safety rating from NHTSA, and is still undergoing its Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards inspection. Lordstown has yet to prove that it’s capable of the sort of mass-production needed to appeal to industry fleet managers, let alone convince them they’re worth the risk. 

At $65,060 US (no Canadian price released), the Endurance is more expensive than the fleet-only $58,000 Ford Lightning Pro, or the soon to come, but already sold-out $39,900 Silverado EV – both of which have decades of experience behind them from companies with proven records of producing and maintaining hundreds of thousands of vehicles. It’s a hard sell.

Ready to buy a used truck?

View all our pre-owned pickups here. Every vehicle from Canada Drives has completed a 150 Point Inspection, comes with a no-charge 30 Day / 1,500 km warranty, and is covered by our 7-Day money back return policy.

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