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Lordstown (RIDE) goes public as people bet on them delivering electric pickup with in-wheel motors

Lordstown Motors (RIDE) has officially gone public through a reverse merger and now people are betting on the startup delivering an electric pickup truck with in-wheel hub motors.

It’s a technology that has never been implemented in a passenger electric vehicle for consumers before.

Recently, we have seen a number of companies in the electric vehicle industry looking into going public by acquiring a special purpose acquisition company or SPAC, which is a holding company already traded publicly for the purpose of doing a reverse merger with a private company.

Lordstown Motors is one of them.

They just completed their merger with DiamondPeak and now trade on the NASDAQ under the ticker (RIDE) — becoming one of the rare pure electric vehicle plays on the public market.

The deal brought them $675 million to help bring their electric pickup truck, the Endurance, to production.

The Endurance is one of several vehicles racing to become the first all-electric pickup truck on the market next year.

It has a few interesting qualities, like a starting price of just $52,500 and a range of “over 250 miles”, but one of the most interesting things about the Endurance is the fact that Lordstown decided to use 4 in-wheel hub motors to power it.

Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns said about the motors when asked by Detroit News:

“Everybody says, ‘Why the hubs?’ This is our way to build a very robust vehicle. Fleets are very cost-centric. They buy on total cost of ownership, so when we can tell them look, same initial purchase price and you start making money the first day off gas and maintenance savings, that’s compelling.”

However, there are questions about how “robust” it is in reality.

The idea for in-wheel hub motors has been around for decades and it is widely used for lighter vehicles like ebikes, but it has never been used in a much heavier vehicle like the Endurance.

Some people have concerns about putting one of the most critical components, like the electric motor, inside one of the parts of the vehicle that takes the heaviest beating and is exposed to the elements, the wheel.

Here you can see a picture of the Endurance’s hub motor with power cables running right next to the suspension (picture via Detroit News):

Is Lordstown going to deliver on the first electric pickup truck with in-wheel motors? We might know relatively soon since the company is currently retrofitting GM’s former factory in Lordstown, Ohio to build the pickup truck.

They aim to bring the electric vehicle to market by September 2021.

Electrek’s Take

I certainly have my concerns about in-wheel motors, but I am glad that a company is attempting it.

It’s going to be interesting to follow. I hope they do make it to production and we get to see how the motors hold up over several years.

As for investing in Lordstown, I’m going to stay on the sidelines for this one, but I wish them the best of luck.

What about you? What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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