Michigan Truck Fire Confirmed a Lordstown Endurance Prototype

Farmington Hills Police arrived on scene a little after midnight on January 13 to a “fully engulfed” pickup truck. The driver of the truck in question claimed it was a Lordstown Endurance prototype that had recently “cleared testing inside of the factory.” The report was vague and did not confirm whether or not the pickup was actually an Endurance prototype, but now thanks to new details we know what happened with the flaming truck.

The incident reportedly took place on January 13 in Farmington Hills, Michigan. According to the Farmington Press, the police department arrived at the scene where the fire occurred at 12:31 AM. The driver told the police he was conducting the Endurance’s first test after it was “cleared inside the facility.” 

According to the driver, he noticed the pickup truck was not driving properly after about ten minutes on the road. He then stopped and exited the vehicle which is when his saw flames coming from underneath. Our first instinct is to think battery pack considering the location of the fire. Interestingly enough, Lordstown has yet to reveal who is supplying the battery packs for the electric pickup. Shortly after arriving, the Farmington Hills Fire Department extinguished the fire and towed the burned electric pickup truck to an undisclosed location. 

No information was given at the time on whether or not the pickup was a confirmed Endurance prototype, or if the fire would be investigated. Now, a report from the Farmington Hills Fire Department obtained by the Tribune Chronicle gives us more insight as to what happened along with several images of the charred prototype. 

When police arrived, they reportedly saw the electric pickup truck “fully engulfed.” Firefighters arrived at 12:39 AM and left the scene at 1:43 AM. According to the incident report, the fire had “a minor extension to the trees in the median.”

Magnesium “from the water reaction below the rear seats in the passenger compartment” was noted by the fire dept. and the hood was completely melted. After extinguishing the blaze, firefighters soaked the vehicle for an additional ten minutes no eliminate the risk of “a rekindle.”

Police requested information for the Endurance prototype, but the driver, who we now know was Lordstown Motors’ powertrain director, Pirakalathan Pathmanathan, promised officers he would provide it the following day. The information provided to the police department did in fact confirm it was an Endurance prototype. The police report stated that “the vehicle has been released to the manufacturer” as the incident did not “appear to be suspicious.” 

Lordstown Motors spokesman Ryan Hallett issued a statement regarding the electric pickup fire: ”We do not generally comment on individual testing conditions. However, we do want to acknowledge that, on January 13, we did have an event during a test with a development mule, and not a full Endurance pickup truck. No one was hurt, and like all of our test findings, we do it to create a great product.”

Lordstown Motors recently confirmed it reached 100,000 non-binding pre-orders for its Endurance electric pickup truck. The automaker also said the pickup is “on track” to start production in September in a press release. According to a company spokesman, the fire will not delay the expected September production launch.

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