If you climb to the top of the pedestal, you’re bound to have someone come along trying to push you off of it. Tesla has been leading the pack when it comes to electric vehicles, but Ohio-based startup Lordstown Motors is looking to take on Tesla with their electric utility vehicle.
Lordstown already has a firm footing to take on bigger companies like Tesla and even General Motors or Ford. They already have a fully equipped, 6.2 million-square-foot assembly plant—the same plant that GM closed after the last Chevrolet Cruze was built. “The plant is still warm, and gives us a leg up and lead over every competitor that there is,” says Michael Gibbons, the senior managing director of the investment bank Brown Gibbons Lang & Co. The bank was brought on by Lordstown Motors to help raise $450 million to start production in late 2020. That production will put their Endurance utility vehicle out on the market with technology that is already being used by United Parcel Service. CEO and founder Steve Burns developed the battery-electric powertrains used in the delivery trucks while he worked for Workhorse Group. “We have a vehicle with millions of miles of proven performance,” says Gibbons, and it’s a legitimate point. At least 6,000 people think so—that’s the number of orders Lordstown Motors already has for the Endurance.
Of course none of that matters if they can’t deliver on the promises. The Endurance definitely has the looks. The full-size pickup has the benefit of not needing any oil changes and not having emissions, making it a great choice for fleet vehicles. It also has fewer moving parts and a tighter turning radius than its gas-powered competition. With an all-electric range of over 250 miles per charge, and true four-wheel drive, the Endurance has a lot to offer. And it makes that offer at a very reasonable $52,500, before rebates. Initially, Lordstown will be focusing on delivering trucks for fleets, but will then turn their attention to private and consumer use.
Even with the competition—including Tesla, Ford, Rivian, Bollinger and Atlis, and GM—vying for the top dog status, Lordstown looks to be well positioned to jump into the lead. Regardless of what happens, there’s plenty of enthusiasm surrounding Lordstown. “I’ve never worked on a deal more exciting than this,” says Gibbons. That’s a common sentiment.