Since it emerged last year, Lordstown Motors has been considered a small niche operation aiming at the sustainability-report margins: corporate fleets, public utilities, and worksites that want to be seen as sustainable.
But any early impressions of the company need to be put aside after what CEO Steve Burns said in an interview with the Detroit Free Press last week. The company is planning for much larger volumes, using the full capacity of the 6.2 million square-foot Ohio factory it bought from General Motors last year,
“We didn’t buy a mass-volume plant like this and not plan to fill it up,” Burns said.
So far, Lordstown has only announced the Endurance electric pickup truck, which is scheduled to be unveiled later this summer, with deliveries to follow in January 2021.
Starting in 2022, Lordstown will start building models, possibly including an SUV, Burns told the Free Press. With production at full tilt, the factory could build up to 600,000 vehicles a year, and employ as many as 5,000 people, the paper reported.
GM Lordstown, Ohio, factory
The Lordstown project just started coming together last year, when the newly-formed company bought the factory in its namesake town from GM. The factory previously built Chevrolet Cruze compacts, but was shut down when GM axed the Cruze.
Meanwhile, GM has confirmed its first electric pickup truck—the GMC Hummer EV—which will be provided in versions that suit work and personal/recreational use.
The GM trucks could be more sophisticated than the Lordstown Endurance, with their 800-volt charging potential and advanced battery tech.
However, GM doesn’t plan to hit 1 million EV sales (including both trucks and cars, globally) until the middle of the decade.
GM’s crosstown rival Ford is planning an electric version of its bestselling F-150, which the automaker teased last year towing a freight train. That model has been confirmed for Michigan assembly, although there have been no announcements from Ford on volume.