Lordstown Motors, in its latest business update, announced that it will start to build the fleet of Beta prototypes of the Endurance pickup next month, so the first units should be ready in March.
The company said that it has "initiated the metal stamping and welding for the first 57 Endurance Beta prototypes". Those vehicles will be used for crash, engineering and validation testing. Some of them might also be tested by customers for their feedback. The production start is promised for September 2021.
The interesting news is that the company intends to use lithium-ion batteries from LG Chem's LG Energy Solution (the packs to be produced in-house). There are no details about the type of those cells.
"Lordstown Motors recently signed a multi-year supplier agreement with LG Energy Solution, a global leader in battery cell technology, broadening Lordstown Motors high-quality, diverse battery cell supply chain that will power the Endurance for years to come."
Lordstown Motors Electric Van
Another bit of notable news is that the company intends to introduce an all-electric van based on the Endurance platform.
The unveiling of this new model is planned for June, while the production should start in the second half of 2022. The van is, however, initially targeted for RV applications, rather than general commercial purpose.
"The Lordstown Motors Electric Van is in development with plans to be unveiled in June and production starting in the second half of 2022. Based on the Endurance platform, the van will utilize hub motors to achieve all-wheel drive and low ground clearance, and have a class-leading range. An initial use case of the van will be as the world’s first production all-electric RV, produced in partnership with Camping World. The van will be priced competitively with comparable internal combustion-based vans."
From other news, Lordstown Motors continue preparations of its plant in Ohio, acquired from GM. Besides the general assembly line for vehicles, there will be also in-house production of hub motors and battery systems.
"Construction continues on an 800,000 square foot propulsion renovation at Lordstown Motors’ 6.2 million square foot Ohio headquarters. Completion of the first stage of the previously announced facility, which will house production lines for advanced battery packs and hub motors, is expected in time for the planned start of production of the Endurance in 2021. When completed, Lordstown Motors expects the facility to be one of the largest of its kind in the United States."
The company said that the number of full-time employees increased to 343, including:
- 171 at their Ohio headquarters
- 131 engineers at the satellite research and development center in Farmington Hills, Michigan,
- 18 remote workers
- 23 at the service center in Irvine, California
By the end of the year, it should be about 1,000.
There is one more thing that normally would not bother us much, but it might be important for those interested in Lordstown Motors. The company has been added to the United States General Services Administration listing. It opens the way for orders from government fleets.
"With this step complete, the company has started its outreach to state and local government entities, including the U.S. Military. The company believes these markets represent a significant opportunity for the Endurance and follow-on products."