The History of Lordstown Motors: What to Know
Lordstown Motors is a Lordstown, OH-based EV truck company featuring an executive team made of former professionals from Tesla, Hyundai, and Toyota, among others. The electric truck occupies a plant formerly owned by General Motors (GM). This company is new, having started in 2018.
In 2021, Foxconn Technology Group purchased the company. This purchase delayed production of the Endurance, set to be the company’s first electric vehicle. In addition to the truck, the company’s plans have also included an SUV, bus, and sedan, with all having a 2022 or 2023 release date.
- Year Founded
- Steve Burns, Julio Rodriguez
- Lordstown, OH
- Key People
- Steve Burns, Julio Rodriguez, Daniel Ninivaggi
- Notable Products
- Lordstown Endurance, unnamed electric bus, unnamed electric sedan
The Founding of Lordstown Motors: How it Happened
Lordstown Motors was formed in 2018 by former Workhorse Group CEO Steve Burns. Burns decided to sign a sales agreement with GM in 2019 that gave the startup access to a former production facility to create its new electric vehicles. Part of the deal included GM loaning $40 million for underwriting.
Lordstown Motors paid $12 million in licensing rights to the Workhorse W-15 truck in March 2020. Workhorse Group received a 10% equity stake as part of its deal allowing Lordstown to use its designs. Barring supply issues, the company had projected to produce electric vehicles by 2022.
In October 2020, Lordstown Motors merged with DiamondPeak Holdings, allowing it to trade stock. The company opened a vehicle service center in Irvine, CA in 2021 for better support options for Southern California customers.
The company experienced some difficulties in 2021 that delayed the production of Endurance and other models. These difficulties included short-selling accusations, news of a prototype catching fire, and the threat of possible bankruptcy. Foxconn Technology Group purchased the plant in October 2021, and also invested $50 million by purchasing common stock.
Lordstown Motors Through The Years
Steve Burns, the Workhorse Group’s former CEO, founded Lordstown Motors with the goal of producing EV truck models. In May 2019, Burns signed a sales agreement with GM that would allow the new company to become the owner of GM’s manufacturing plant in Lordstown, OH. Lordstown Motors received the intellectual property rights to Workhorse Group’s electric truck in March 2020.
In January 2021, the company opened a new service center in California to account for anticipated growth. During March that year, accusations of short-selling stock and misleading investors lead to the threat of bankruptcy by June. As of late 2021, the company was owned by Foxconn Technology Group, which resulted in a new projected release date for each of the vehicles.
What Are the Most Important Inventions From Lordstown Motors?
Endurance EV Truck
This electric truck features fewer moving parts than similar vehicles, which helps reduce the maintenance costs, as well as the cost of ownership. With each wheel having a dedicated hub motor, the truck has taken 4-wheel drive to a new level that works in all kinds of terrain. One of the effects of the truck’s design is better productivity.
In-Wheel Drive System
Lordstown Motors has created an in-wheel drive system for all its vehicles, using a dedicated motor in each wheel with integrated software. One of the advantages of this system is a lower cost of ownership compared to vehicles with combustion engines. Putting individual motors in each wheel creates greater energy efficiency.
How Does Lordstown Motors Make Money?
Lordstown Motors makes money by selling electric vehicles. The Endurance truck is its signature product, and the company also has a tentative release date for an SUV and a car.
Lordstown Motors Notable Controversies
March 2021: Short-Selling Controversy
Hindenburg Research, an investment research firm, published a report related to the company’s short-selling. This firm uncovered evidence that the company had misled its customers about its ability to produce the trucks. Potential supply issues, coupled with the prospect of insider stock sales, decreased consumer confidence in the company.
June 2021: Bankruptcy Controversy
The annual Securities and Exchange Commission report that the company filed was amended to reflect the lack of funds for production and order fulfillment. In addition to this announcement, the company revealed that it was facing bankruptcy. Steve Burns resigned as CEO and was replaced with Daniel Ninivaggi. Julio Rodriguez, the Chief Financial Officer, resigned at the same time as Burns.