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Lordstown Motors is developing an electric van.

Details are limited, but the company said the model will be based on the same platform that underpins the Endurance pickup. The van will also have a low ground clearance, all-wheel drive and a “class-leading range.”

There’s no word on specifications at this point, but Lordstown confirmed the van will use hub motors like the Endurance. In the truck, they produce a combined output of 600 hp (447 kW / 608 PS) and enable the model to run from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 5.5 seconds.

Also Read: Lordstown Partners With Camping World For Servicing And Electric RV

The van is slated to be unveiled in June, before going into production in the second half of 2022. Little else is known about the model, but Lordstown said it will be “priced competitively with comparable internal combustion-based vans” and form the basis of the “world’s first production all-electric RV.”  The latter was announced last month as part of an agreement with Camping World.

In other news, the company has begun metal stamping and welding for 57 Endurance Beta prototypes. The first Beta trucks are expected to be completed in March and some of them will be used for “crash, engineering and validation testing.” The company also expects to send some to customers to gather feedback.

CEO Steve Burns said Lordstown remains on track to start normal production in September and continues to see “indicators of strong demand for an all-wheel drive, full-size electric pickup truck with 250 miles (402 km) of range from commercial, government and military fleets.”

 


The Volkswagen Group is hoping to recycle up to 90% of the materials in its batteries in the future, and has taken the first step in that mission with its first plant for recycling EV batteries in Salzgitter.

As you may know, lithium-ion batteries require a lot of materials, many of which are hard to find and require a lot of energy to mine. Although EV car manufacturers won’t always disclose the true environmental impact of their EVs, one of the advantages of centralizing (and reducing) pollution is that big recycling programs like these could become easier.

The plant will recycle batteries that can simply be used in other applications. Volkswagen has already outlined some of the plans it has for reusing batteries, like in mobile charging banks. This plant, however, will deal with the batteries after they have been used up and will thereby recover the raw materials, like lithium, nickel, manganese, and cobalt.

“Volkswagen Group Components has achieved a further step in its sustainable end-to-end responsibility for the battery as a key component of electric mobility,” said Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components. “We are implementing the sustainable recyclable materials cycle – and play a pioneering role in the industry for a future-oriented issue with great potential for climate protection and raw material supply.”

Also Read: GM Intends To Stop Selling Gasoline Vehicles By 2035, Will Be Carbon Neutral By 2040

The process used will also be energy efficient. Rather than just melting everything down in a blast furnace, the batteries are disassembled and ground down into a black powder which is then processed by hydrometallurgical processes.

“As a consequence, essential components of old battery cells can be used to produce new cathode material,” explains Mark Möller, Head of the Business Unit Technical Development & E-Mobility. “From research, we know that recycled battery raw materials are just as efficient as new ones. In future, we intend to support our battery cell production with the material we recover. Given that the demand for batteries and the corresponding raw materials will increase drastically, we can put every gram of recycled material to good use.”

Naturally, Volkswagen doesn’t expect the plant to be very busy for a few years. As EVs become more popular, though, this will be an important step in the greenification process. Volkswagen reckons that a recycled battery saves 1.3 tonnes of CO2.

Dodge’s product strategy can be summed up as ‘Hellcat all the things.’

While we sadly never got to see a Journey SRT Hellcat, Dodge knows the clock is ticking on their supercharged 6.2-liter V8.

Speaking to CNBC, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis acknowledged the “days of an iron block supercharged 6.2-liter V8 are numbered.” He went on to say this is due to compliance costs and not a lack of demand.

Also Read: 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat Debuts With 710 HP

Speaking of the latter, Kuniskis revealed the company has sold “well over 50,000 Hellcats” in the past five years or so. He added this was “way beyond what our initial expectations were” and impressive considering the 2021 Challenger SRT Hellcat starts at $58,995. Of course, not even a base price of $80,995 stopped the Durango SRT Hellcat from selling out.

While the Hellcat V8 will eventually be phased out, Kuniskis said the performance associated with Hellcat models is here to stay. As he explained, the whole industry is embracing electrification and the “crazy people are going to take the electrification – that has now become accessible from a price point [in the future] – and make that performance-based instead of economy-based.”

Kuniskis went on to note this isn’t the first time regulations have threatened muscle cars as they originally went away in the 1970’s due to a combination of factors including emission rules, high fuel prices, increasing safety standards and skyrocketing insurance rates.

Kuniskis said he worries about history repeating itself everyday, because muscle cars took decades to rebound and become the high-performance models that we know today. However, Dodge will have electrified models in the future and Kuniskis is “super excited” about that as he believes technology will save muscle cars this time around.

H/T to Autoblog