Ohio-based EV manufacturer Lordstown Motors and U.S. retailer Camping World have announced a partnership to develop and promote electric recreational vehicles (RVs). Lordstown CEO, Steve Burns, and Camping World CEO, Marcus Lemonis, announced the partnership at a press conference in the U.S.
Prototypes are expected by the summer of 2021 with a fully electrified RV model expected by 2022. Camping World will also supply support services for Lordstown’s electric Endurance trucks.
Burns says: “Even though electric trucks are low on maintenance, things happen, accidents and nobs break. We started looking at what it would take to roll out service on our own versus what could we leverage with a company that is really good at this already that already has a national footprint and has been doing this a long time.
“That’s how we found Camping World. They sell and service RVs and they cater to a lot of people who already own pickup trucks. They are adept at helping if a family is stranded on a mountain….They have impeccable service.”
“What we realised is we’re not just going to have a plain vanilla service we’re going to have the best service that any EV company has ever had. To fleets that value uptime it is super important,” adds Burns.
“I’ve been in the RV business for more than 20 years and there has never been a more exciting time. Steve and I have been looking at this space and our need to be responsible not only to the environment but as leaders in the industry,” says Lemonis.
Lemonis also lauded Lordstown’s giant facility in Ohio, and its knowledge of battery technology, manufacturing and the automotive space.
“We’ll support the sale before the sale even happens,” says Lemonis. He reports that Camping World has 170 locations, almost 2,000 service bays, a 400-seat call centre and nationwide roadside assistance program. Camping World will also provide collision repair services.
“Our manufacturers will participate in electrifying RVs across America,” says Lemonis, who reports that 90% of recreational vehicles are towable and only 10% are motorised.
“Our goal is for the whole journey of electrifying RVs from figuring out the battery pack for off-grid use without relying on a generator to all the way up to a motorized unit,” he adds
The aim of the partnership is to offer RVs that are affordable to the masses in America. Lemonis says vehicles that cost $100,000 are not realistic for millennials who are the future of the industry or affordable for retirees who want to travel and visit their grandchildren.
Lordstown Motors took over the GM plant in Ohio which has a history for the Lemonis family. Lemonis’ parents grew up in Ohio. He often visited the town.
There will also be electric vehicle charging systems at Camping World locations, not only for Lordstown Motors vehicles but also for big and small vehicles, to help with the electrification process, says Lemonis.
“I’ve driven the Endurance platform with the truck and the vehicle that looks like the Mad Max vehicle with the roll bars,” says Lemonis, who notes that the Endurance platform can extend to an electric RV.
Lordstown Motors reports that it has already received 50,000 non-binding reservations from commercial fleets for its Endurance all-electric pickup truck.