The fully electric truck space is getting crowded. More market participants compete for a share of this lucrative segment of the US vehicle market. USA
On Thursday, privately owned Lordstown Motors entered the fray, unveiling its all-electric van, called Endurance, at its headquarters in Lordstown, Ohio.
Lordstown Motors was established by former Workhorse (ticker: WKHS) CEO Steve Burns, who purchased the General Motors (GM) Lordstown plant in 2019. He reduced the Voltage Valley facility. It is a good name.
The Endurance seems to be starting life as a commercial vehicle. Lordstown Motors has hired Servpro, a fire and water damage restoration company, as an initial customer. Servpro has committed to 1,200 trucks.
Details about the truck, at this point, are sparse. Investors know Hydra Design Labs is helping with vehicle design.
Thursday’s event is another sign that trucking is quickly becoming fully electric.
Tesla (TSLA), of course, launched its Cybertruck in 2019 with much fanfare. The EV pioneer has accepted hundreds of thousands of reservations and is expected to start selling the truck in late 2021 or early 2022. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives suspects Cybertruck will be built at a new facility in Austin, Texas.
GM and Ford Motor (F) are dominant sellers of gasoline and diesel powered trucks. They will not go silent at night. GM plans a fully electric van for sale in the fall of 2021, according to CEO Mary Barra.
Ford is developing an all-electric F-150 and owns part of Rivian, another private electric truck startup. Rivian’s truck is slated for sale later this year.
Nikola (NKLA) plans to disrupt the heavy duty truck market, offering both battery and fuel cell trucks. These are larger vehicles. Battery versions are for sale in 2021. The company is also working on a smaller truck, the Badger. More details on that truck will arrive on June 29.
Nikola started public life in an atypical way by being acquired by a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Another SPAC, Tortoise Acquisition (SHLL), is buying Hyliion, another company that works on heavy battery trucks, similar to Nikola.
Finally, Workhorse, the former company of the CEO of Lordstown Burns, is developing electricity delivery vans. The workhorse’s stock rose more than 17% on Tuesday after the company said its vehicle passed federal safety tests.
Workhorse shares have risen nearly 130% to date, far better than comparable returns for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But the company is not an atypical EV. It has been a great year to build electric vehicles. Tesla shares have increased approximately 140% so far this year. The stock of NIO (NIO) has increased approximately 80%. BYD (1211. Hong Kong) shares rose nearly 60%. And Nikola’s shares have risen approximately 120% since the company began life as a publicly traded entity on June 3. The race, for electric vehicle manufacturers, has been remarkable.
NIO and BYD manufacture electric cars.
Electric trucks make sense, economically speaking, in commercial settings. Many trucks in commercial applications remain local, eliminating scope anxiety, and can be loaded in a centralized location overnight. Furthermore, electric motors have better torque (pulling force) at low revolutions per minute (RPM) compared to even diesel engines.
Those are some benefits in addition to the environmental benefits and the benefit of lower refueling costs relative to gasoline and diesel that accumulate as commercial vehicles are driven.
Write to Al Root at [email protected]