Lordstown Motors tours former GM plant where they’ll build electric pickups
Lordstown Motors was created to build electric pickup trucks at a former General Motors factory in Lordstown, Ohio. While work to launch the truck, named Endurance, is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lordstown released a short video tour of the factory.
GM built cars in Lordstown for 53 years, and the current factory was capable of producing 400,000 vehicles a year, according to the video—placing it somewhere near the original intended capacity of Tesla’s Fremont plant, which was originally also built by GM.
The factory last built Chevrolet Cruze sedans, and was shut down in March 2019. A deal to sell the factory to Lordstown was completed in November of that year.
While GM has vacated the factory, the automaker plans to build a joint-venture battery plant with LG Chem nearby. That has inspired Lordstown to christen the area “Voltage Valley.”
Like fellow electric-truck startup Rivian, Lordstown is betting that repurposing an existing factory will allow it to start production relatively quickly.
“If we were to build this from scratch, it just wouldn’t be possible,” Lordstown CEO Steve Burns said in the video. “They aren’t going to make buildings like this again. We’re taking it, we’re reconfiguring it for our purposes, and we’ve been really pleased with the equipment here and the resources we’ve been able to find. To produce a vehicle is not trivial… It takes a lot of automation and a lot of people, and this plant has been perfect for us.”
Final Chevrolet Cruze built at GM Lordstown plant
Burns previously tried to launch the Workhorse W-15 extended-range pickup truck under his other company. Unlike the W-15, the Endurance will be all-electric, but detailed specifications have not been revealed.
In-wheel hub motors appear to be the truck’s greatest innovation. Several companies have discussed using hub motors, but the Endurance may be the first mass-produced vehicle to use them.
Unlike Rivian and other companies planning electric pickup trucks, Lordstown will target fleet sales. Lordstown initially indicated that thousands of pre-orders for the Workhorse W-15 would be transferred to the Endurance, but hasn’t clarified the plan to Green Car Reports despite repeated requests.
Lordstown hasn’t given a comprehensive update on orders, although earlier this month it said it had received a letter of intent from Florida-based Innervations to broker the sale of 1,000 trucks for fleet customers.
Burns said earlier this month that the first deliveries would take place in January 2021, a delay of about one month due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lordstown originally planned to unveil the Endurance in June, at the 2020 Detroit Auto Show, but it will now stage an online event this summer due to the show’s cancellation.