The Lordstown Endurance EPA Numbers Are In, and … Yikes

What’s the least efficient electric vehicle in America right now? This is a rhetorical question, clearly. The EPA’s just rated the Lordstown Endurance, and it’s bad news for a company that really didn’t need any bad news. After all, the investment from Foxconn that essentially saved the operation is now unraveling, threatening the tenuous dribble of Endurance production. And now, the few trucks that the company has been able to make are saddled with some truly dismal range and efficiency figures.

This is a problem for the fleet-oriented buyers that Lordstown is courting, who are driven by the cold calculus of purchase and running costs, and who have options from now from serious and established players. There’s a risk all this bad news will cause the company’s prospects to spiral even further, with the threat of bankruptcy and the desperate search for additional funding dissuading further interest.

Let’s look at the EPA estimates themselves. The most notable number is the total estimated range: 174 miles. That puts it in way at the bottom of the range scale, with more in common with the baffling Mazda MX-30 (rated at 100 miles) than the least-legged versions of EV pickup trucks, like the F-150 Lightning, that can manage 230 miles per the EPA.

And it’s not a problem of overall battery capacity, either. The Endurance has a full 109 kWh of juice onboard. So the issue likely comes down to the Endurance’s lackluster efficiency. Indeed, the mpge numbers tell the tale: 48 mpg combined, 49 city, and 46 highway. Whatever criticism you want to level at the EPA’s testing regimen, comparing EPA numbers to numbers at least gives a sense of the relative efficiency of a vehicle (if not it’s real-world figures). And by this measure, the EPA’s least efficient pickup (the standard battery F-150 Lightning) manages 68 combined, 76 city, and 61 highway mpge—a significant difference.

It’s an open question as to whether Lordstown can overcome this, secure some funding, improve the truck, and keep a factory open that’s fairly important to the surrounding community. But news like this doesn’t help things any.

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