The irony of an oil and gas company looking at adding electric trucks to its fleet isn’t lost on Jason Oates.
But for Crestone Peak Resources, a big part of the appeal is the economics, said Oates, the company’s director of external affairs.
Another big consideration is the fact that the northern Front Range, where the company operates, exceeds federal standards for ground-level ozone. The state continues to try to reduce emissions from oil and gas production and transportation, major sources of the pollution.
“We have a fairly sizable fleet, and Crestone, in the current economic environment that we’re in, is always looking at ways to cut our costs,” Oates said Tuesday. “And then you look at the other benefits that come with it, as far as supporting the governor’s push for electric vehicles.”
Gov. Jared Polis has set a goal of getting nearly a million electric vehicles on Colorado roads by 2030 in efforts to reduce pollution and tackle the effects of climate change by cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.
So, when the Denver-based company had a chance to get a close-up look at a prototype of what could be the first all-electric commercial pickup, it took it. Last week, Crestone employees met with representatives of Lordstown Motors Corp., who took the prototype of the Endurance on the road to give companies with big vehicle fleets an opportunity to check it out.
“We started on the West Coast and on the way back to the factory in Ohio, we made stops at some fleets that we had contacted that had shown interest,” said Steve Burns, CEO and founder of the motor company.
Burns said it was the first time people got to see and drive the prototype. The company, which is retooling a former General Motors assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, plans to start production of the full-size pickup by September 2021.
“We think we’ll be the first electric pickup by at least a year, maybe two,” Burns said.
Lordstown Motors promotes its electric truck in part by comparing it to the Ford F-150, one of the best-selling vehicles nationwide. Burns said Endurance owners would save money on fuel and maintenance costs. Over a truck’s typical life span of five years at about 20,000 miles a year, he said the savings for the owner of an Endurance would be roughly the equivalent of $20,000 off the sticker price of a comparably equipped Ford truck.
The initial price of an Endurance is listed as $52,500 on the Lordstown Motors website, which includes a calculator comparing its costs to a Ford F-150. Also factored in is a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles.
Oates said Crestone employees liked what they saw in the Endurance. He said besides producing no emissions, electric trucks could be handy in the field. Because there’s no engine in front, the space could be used for storage.
In addition, power tools, lights and other devices could be powered by electricity from the truck.
“It’s a very impressive vehicle from all the different technical specs,” Oates said. “And it looks like a working-class vehicle. It doesn’t look like something out of a sci-fi movie.”
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