LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Lordstown Motors is ready to tap into the power of the Mahoning Valley. CEO Steve Burns believes this area could become an epicenter of electric vehicles in the Midwest.
“It was cool to get the keys yesterday,” he said.
Burns bought the former GM Lordstown assembly plant for $20 million, according to Senator Rob Portman.
Already, it gives Burns a comfortable feeling.
“It’s still warm from when it made this last Cruze,” he said. “That was really important to us so that we could get to market faster.”
Lordstown Motors will spend millions more to retool and reconfigure the plant.
Over 16 million vehicles were assembled in Lordstown over the last 53 years.
“That plant is built for heavy volume, that’s the beauty of it,” Burns said. “We’re starting at lower volume and we will grow into it, but you have to reconfigure it so you can even make a lower volume.”
Lordstown Motors’ first vehicle will be the Endurance, a full-size electric pickup truck. It’s a vehicle designed for tough work.
It’s more productive than commercial vehicles, but the average driver also seems interested.
“It’s such a good-looking truck, we get a lot of consumers asking about it,” Burns said.
Fleet sales will be the first area of concentration until service centers can be added.
GM is still considering building a plant to make batteries for electric vehicles near Lordstown. That means the area could become a hub for the vehicles of tomorrow and beyond.
“We’re really trying to build a coalition of folks that build the motors, the batteries, the wiring, the harnesses, the new things that are needed for the electric vehicle revolution,” Burns said.
He said electric vehicle company Workhorse, which will license the technology to them, has a 10% stake in Lordstown Motors.