Burns: Endurance Finished Race ‘Operationally Sound’

LORDSTOWN, Ohio – Following Lordstown Motors’ early exit from the SCORE San Felipe 250 over the weekend, CEO Steve Burns released a video statement explaining why the Endurance team dropped out.

The reason for dropping out after about 40 miles, he said, was largely because of unforeseen power consumption caused by the course’s tough off-road demands, namely the deep, loose sand trucks had to navigate.

“We knew this was a grueling environment and would push us. We successfully navigated the extreme conditions over the first 40-mile leg of the race with all of our mechanicals meeting or exceeding our expectations. While we anticipated significantly higher energy demand from this environment – the reality of the terrain proved to be even more demanding,” Burns said in the video.

When the race team stopped at the first charging station, data showed it was four times the power needed on normal road conditions at 200 feet of elevation. In pre-race estimates, the Lordstown Motors Endurance team assumed power use would be three times normal rates.

“As we recharged for Stage 2, we concluded that the next leg – more than 65 miles at net 1750 ft. elevation – could result in our vehicle stopping in the middle of mountainous terrain with no viable or accessible charging options, so we decided not to send the vehicle back out on the course. While we were done racing for the day, we continued to demonstrate the vehicle’s capabilities through an additional 10 miles of off-course driving, which only added to the insights and feedback we generated during the race,” Burns said.

The CEO noted that there were no mechanical issues with the modified Endurance and that the truck’s in-wheel motors performed well, there were no problems with the drivetrain and battery pack in off-road conditions and the the truck’s thermal management system kept all components cooled.

“Our truck completed the stage fully intact, operationally sound and is now headed back home,” the statement said. “We tip our cap to Baja and the tough terrain and we look forward to next year. We expected to be pushed to the limit and we were not disappointed. We will continue to push our vehicle and our team to the limits because that is what it takes to successfully develop the level of market-changing innovation to which we are committed.”

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.