Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis’ dream of building one of the first electric RVs has temporarily hit a snag.
This spring, Lemonis announced a partnership with Ohio-based electric truck startup company Lordstown Motors to develop an all-electric recreational vehicle. Lordstown Motors captured the attention of EV enthusiasts earlier when it announced production plans for its Endurance work truck.
Trouble surfaced soon after, when Lordstown was accused of misleading investors about the extent of orders for the Endurance truck, which brought an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That ultimately led to the resignations of the company’s CEO Steve Burns and Chief Financial Officer Julio Rodriguez.
Lordstown Motors has a “prototype” electric RV van
On Tuesday, Lordstown Motors President Rich Schmidt said that the company has developed a “prototype” electric RV van. They had planned to unveil it to the public in June.
“We do have a prototype van that has been completed, and it shares a lot of commonized parts with the Endurance,” Schmidt said. “It will possibly be shown later in the summer. But at this point, we are currently focused only on the Endurance.”
The partnership with Camping World included the development of an electric RV with a range of up to 350 miles. Camping World was planning to add a network of service centers to handle repairs and provide charging stations.
Also on Tuesday, Schmidt said Lordstown Motors had enough orders in place for the company’s Endurance truck to begin production. “Again, we’re just focused currently on the Endurance truck,” he said. “That’s our next goal for the next three months, is to make sure we hit our production targets and stay within our budgets and drive forward to getting the vehicles ready for the market.” Schmidt said Lordstown Motors enough “binding orders” for the Endurance work truck to fund production until May 2022.
But that story took another strange turn last Thursday when the company backtracked on Schmidt’s statement about having committed buyers in place for its truck. In a new filing with the Security and Exchange Commission, Lordstown admitted the purchase agreements it had in hand did not represent binding purchase orders.
“Although these vehicle purchase agreements provide us with a significant indicator of demand for the Endurance, these agreements do not represent binding purchase orders or other firm purchase commitments,” Lordstown said in its SEC filing. “We have engaged in limited marketing activities and we have no binding purchase orders or commitments from customers.” The news sent the company’s stock tumbling another 4% on Thursday. It’s down more than 50% in 2021.
So those eagerly anticipating the unveiling of the Lordstown Motors/Camping World EV RV this month will have to wait a while. The much-touted collaboration on an all-electric RV is, ironically, out of gas.