Dead in the Water: Lordstown Motors and Camping World Electric RV
It was big news and then a big letdown. What seemed to many like a done deal is now a dead one. We’re talking about Camping World’s plan to work with Lordstown Motors to build, sell, and service all-electric RVs. Let’s see what happened to kill this partnership before it could begin.
Camping World and Lordstown Motors Partnership Announced in December of 2020
In a joint press conference, officials with both companies talked about their extravagant plans for an exciting new future. Camping World and Lordstown would team up to electrify the RV world. They even coined a new term – the Class E RV – to describe the all-electric motorhomes they envisioned. They promised it would be part of our future and not too far down the road.
Under the plan, Camping World’s 170 locations would have provided service and charging stations for Lordstown’s electric pickup trucks. Eventually, it would sell Lordstown’s Class E RVs, too. They would be van-style motorhomes on platforms similar to the trucks that Lordstown already builds.
There was another component, too. Lordstown would produce lithium-ion batteries to help power other companies’ RVs, including travel trailers.
Who Is Lordstown Motors?
Lordstown Motors is an EV startup that set up shop in a shut-down General Motors facility in northeastern Ohio. It brought hope to a community of laid-off autoworkers with an ambitious plan to build thousands of its all-electric trucks. They designed the Endurance as a workhorse truck that you could also use as a daily driver.
However, Lordstown has suffered a series of setbacks and never got past the prototype. The government is investigating the company for allegedly being dishonest about how many truck orders it had. Lordstown’s CEO, Steve Burns, resigned last month, and stock prices dived.
June 2021: The Deal Is Dead
And, just like that, the deal is off. Responding to a question on Twitter recently, Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis revealed that Lordstown is out of the picture. Unfortunately, Lemonis hasn’t elaborated specifically on why Lordstown is history or what other manufacturers may be in his future instead.
Will Camping World’s Electric RV Production Come to Fruition?
The broken deal leaves a lot of things up in the air. But Camping World seems determined to play an active role in an evolution toward electric RVs. In some ways, it seems like a sound business strategy to position itself as a leader in a movement toward greener RVs.
What Did Lemonis Mean by “Electric World?”
There are some clues that other manufacturers are waiting in the wings to help Camping World fulfill its vision for a future that includes Class E RVs. On June 18, Lemonis said on Twitter, “We are launching electric world with an amazing assortment from around the globe. @LordstownMotors will not be a part of that.”
What exactly is Electric World? It has a bare-bones website that doesn’t shed much light. However, RV Magazine reported that it’s a spinoff retail company that will sell all-electric RVs outside Salt Lake City.
Is Lordstown Motors Going out of Business?
The company has said its first trucks will finally roll off the assembly line this September. But the feds are investigating whether the company has consistently exaggerated how many orders it has for its trucks. In a financial report filed in March, the company revealed it had money problems and may have to shut down.
Five of the company’s executives, including the former CEO, are accused of dumping their stocks. Reports say they sold more than $8 million in stock just days before the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. So it’s no exaggeration to say that Lordstown’s future is in jeopardy.
What Does This Mean for a Class E RV?
Camping World and Lordstown were expecting to have a charging station prototype by now, but that didn’t happen. With a strong push toward electric vehicles worldwide, it seems likely that this will include RVs at some point. But when will it happen? We just don’t know, but there are some encouraging signs. One of them is Winnebago’s new all-electric Class A coach.
We suspect it won’t be too long before we see a bona fide Class E RV on the roads. They probably won’t dominate the market overnight, but there’s plenty of interest among the RV community. Camping World – or maybe Electric World – could be among the first to sell them.
Camping World has plans for an electric RV future, but Lordstown Motors isn’t in them. As RVs go electric, Marcus Lemonis seems to want to lead the way. What do you think about electric RVs? Would you ever get one?
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