Lordstown Motors released today an update on the yesterday's withdrawal from the SCORE San Felipe 250 rally, after just 40 miles (64 km) out of the total distance of 240 miles (386 km).
There were no technical issues with the vehicle, based on the Lordstown Endurance pickup truck, but the truck had simply run low on energy.
According to Lordstown Motors, they assumed that the energy usage would be three times higher compared to normal road conditions, while it turned out to be four times higher.
"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."
"During the race, when we reached the first charging stop, we analyzed the drive data, and concluded our energy usage was much more intensive than we had modeled. In our pre-race estimates, we assumed a 3X energy usage compared to normal road conditions at 200 ft. elevation. Following stage 1, however, our data showed consumption at 4 times the normal level.
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."
There are no details, but we can make some calculations. The regular truck will be equipped with a 109 kWh battery and is expected to get more than 250 miles (402 km) of EPA range. That would be about 270 Wh/km (435 Wh/mile) or so.
At three times higher energy consumption, the range would be then just 83 miles (134 km), which sounds more than enough to complete the 65 miles of the mountain leg. However, at 4-times the energy consumption, the range would be just 63 miles (101 km).
We guess that in such circumstances, maybe it would be better to take an extended or double battery or at least provide more charging opportunities.
Anyway, Lordstown Motors says that they drove 10 miles more on their way home to gather additional data:
"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
Aside from racing, this example shows how important a large battery pack is in an electric pickup, which should be a sign for all manufacturers that recently rushed to introduce them on the market.
Regular drivers will not be racing, but if you take a load or tow, in unfavorable weather, maybe not fully charged, maybe after a few years (slight battery degradation), it will be a very similar problem. Will 100+ kWh be enough or just a bare minimum for local driving? Should it be 150-200 kWh standard and more if needed?