Otago Daily Times

Electric ute among first

- MARK PHE­LAN ROBERT CHANNICK JOR­DYN GRZELEWSKI Business · Clean Tech · Cars · Consumer Goods · Transportation · Ecology · Industries · General Motors Corporation · NASDAQ · Ohio · Steve Burns · Detroit · United States of America · Illinois · Normal, Illinois · Ford · Plymouth · Mitsubishi Group · Amazon · Lordstown, OH · Burns · Normal · Granite · Glacier · Rivian Automotive · Plymouth

LORDSTOWN MO­TORS, the plucky electric ute start­up that aims to turn an aban­doned Gen­eral Mo­tors plant into a hub of man­u­fac­tur­ing and tech­no­log­i­cal lead­er­ship, claims to have sold out the first year of pro­duc­tion for their En­durance ute — 40,000 presold or­ders.

Lordstown went from a pri­vately held com­pany with lim­ited means to a pub­licly traded one this week, list­ing on the NAS­DAQ.

Its Ohio plant will be­gin pro­duc­tion of electric utes next Septem­ber, chief ex­ec­u­tive Steve Burns told me as we ex­am­ined a rolling chas­sis in­cor­po­rat­ing a con­ven­tional pickup frame and 6048 bat­tery cells in the com­pany’s sub­ur­ban Detroit en­gi­neer­ing cen­tre.

That tim­ing would put it among the first mod­ern EV utes with mean­ing­ful sales.

The En­durance will be the first pro­duc­tion car or truck with an electric mo­tor in each wheel hub, Burns said.

Hub mo­tors al­low for pre­cise con­trol of power and trac­tion, and re­duce the num­ber of parts in a ve­hi­cle. The other up­com­ing electric utes have mo­tors mounted on the chas­sis — sim­i­lar to the en­gine of a con­ven­tional car.

The En­durance’s wheel, tyre, brake and mo­tor as­sem­blies each weigh about 32kg and are the re­sult of seven years of de­vel­op­ment. The tech cen­tre is tun­ing the truck’s sus­pen­sion to ac­count for that mass, which can af­fect steer­ing and han­dling.

‘‘We’ve got thou­sands fewer parts than a con­ven­tional pickup,’’ chief en­gi­neer Dar­ren Post said.

The En­durance’s frame — the struc­ture to which the ute wheels, sus­pen­sion, cab and bed are at­tached — was en­gi­neered and will be sup­plied by one of the ma­jor sup­pli­ers that makes frames for large car mak­ers, Burns said.

En­durance prices will start at $US52,500. Slic­ing off $US7500 with tax re­bates avail­able in the US drops the price into the same ter­ri­tory as in­ter­nal com­bus­tion utes.

The En­durance has tra­di­tional fric­tion brakes but the great ma­jor­ity of stop­ping will be done re­gen­er­a­tively, rout­ing power back through the hub mo­tors to the bat­tery to in­crease range.

It will have a 400km range. — TCA

RIVIAN is mov­ing from con­cept car to re­al­ity. The electric ute start­up, which has been build­ing its fac­tory in Nor­mal, Illi­nois, will be­gin tak­ing or­ders on its in­au­gu­ral mod­els next week, with US de­liv­er­ies start­ing in June on a spe­cial Launch Edi­tion ver­sion.

There are three ve­hi­cle pack­ages for both the R1T ute and R1S SUV, of­fered

FORD has un­veiled the E­Tran­sit, a bat­tery­electric ver­sion of its Tran­sit cargo van that marks the car maker’s first com­mer­cial electric ve­hi­cle of­fer­ing as it ex­e­cutes a strat­egy of elec­tri­fy­ing its most pop­u­lar name­plates.

The E­Tran­sit — which has an in nine ad­ven­tur­ous­sound­ing colours such as Red Canyon, El Cap Gran­ite and Glacier White. All mod­els have 500km of range, go from zero to 100kmh in three sec­onds and have ve­gan leather seats.

The launch pack­age starts at $US75,000 for the ute and $US77,500 for the SUV, off­set in the US by a $US7500 fed­eral tax credit for electric ve­hi­cles.

Cus­tomers who pre­or­dered can be­gin con­fig­ur­ing their ve­hi­cle. Rivian re­quires a re­fund­able $US1000 de­posit to or­der.

Orig­i­nally set to be­gin pro­duc­tion this year, Rivian was de­layed by Covid. In ad­di­tion to the launch ver­sion in June, two other equip­ment pack­ages will roll off the line in Jan­uary 2022.

The Ad­ven­ture will cost the same as the Launch Edi­tion, with sim­i­lar op­tions, but takes seven months longer for de­liv­ery. The Ex­plore has fewer op­tions and starts at $US67,500 for the ute and $US70,000 for the SUV.

Rivian has not an­nounced the de­liv­ery date for a base ver­sion of the ute and SUV, which will be priced ‘‘sub­stan­tially lower’’ than the three pack­ages cur­rently of­fered on the web­site, spokes­woman Amy Mast said.

Legacy and start­up car mak­ers alike have hun­dreds of electric ve­hi­cles in the de­vel­op­ment pipe­line, with in­dus­try pro­jec­tions that EV sales will sur­pass tra­di­tional in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gines by 2030.

Founded 10 years ago, Ply­mouth, Michi­gan­based Rivian is build­ing electric utes in a con­verted Mit­subishi plant, and has raised about $US6 bil­lion from in­vestors.

In ad­di­tion to the ute and SUV, Rivian is build­ing 100,000 electric vans for Ama­zon, which are ex­pected to be on the road next year. — TCA

 ?? PHO­TOS: TNS ?? The Rivian R1S and R1T (in­set).
PHO­TOS: TNS The Rivian R1S and R1T (in­set).
 ?? PHOTO: TNS ?? The En­durance, the first run­ning ver­sion of Lordstown Mo­tors’ electric light­duty ute, outside the com­pany's Detroit en­gi­neer­ing cen­tre.
PHOTO: TNS The En­durance, the first run­ning ver­sion of Lordstown Mo­tors’ electric light­duty ute, outside the com­pany's Detroit en­gi­neer­ing cen­tre.

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