Lordstown Motors, Once Touted as a Tesla Killer, Files for Bankruptcy

Lordstown Endurance electric pickup truck 6 photos
Photo: Lordstown Motors
Lordstown EnduranceLordstown EnduranceLordstown EnduranceLordstown EnduranceLordstown Endurance
Lordstown Motors, the maker of the Endurance electric pickup truck, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company is looking for a potential new owner to save it after it failed to solve a dispute with Foxconn over a promised investment.
Lordstown Motors was founded in 2018 to produce a revolutionary electric pickup. One year later, the company signed an agreement with GM to purchase its Lordstown plant and another one in 2020 with Workhorse Group to license intellectual property rights for its Workhorse W-15 pickup truck. Lordstown Motors wanted to use the W15 design as a base for its own electric pickup, the Endurance.

Lordstown Endurance was not just any electric pickup, as it featured a hub motor system instead of the common drive units. The wheel-hub motors would eliminate many moving parts, including wheel axles and transmission gears. The Endurance production was delayed, and an earlier prototype burst into flame in 2021. The startup also suffered setbacks after Hindenburg Research presented evidence that the company misled investors. Lordstown Motors exaggerated the demand for its trucks and its ability to build them.

Financial problems culminated in selling its Lordstown plant to Foxconn in October 2021. The Taiwanese company became a contract manufacturer for Lordstown Motors and, at the same time, an investor with a $52.7 million stake in the company. The startup eventually launched the Endurance in the third quarter of 2022, which is still earlier than Tesla Cybertruck.

This doesn't mean anything, though, as Tesla has more prototypes roaming the streets than the number of Lordstown Endurance trucks ever produced. To add insult to injury, the "revolutionary" electric pickup proved to be an energy hog with a disappointing EPA range of 174 miles out of a 109-kWh battery pack. This is the lowest range for any electric vehicle with a battery pack larger than 100 kWh.

Probably this convinced Foxconn that investing more money in Lordstown Motors would not be the wisest move. The company turned off the money tap, leaving Lordstown Motors high and dry. The startup had no choice but to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At the same time, Lordstown Motors took legal action against Foxconn for failing to abide by an agreement to invest up to $170 million in the electric-vehicle manufacturer.

Earlier this month, Lordstown Motors was already considering suing the Taiwanese company. In a regulatory filing earlier this month, the startup accused Foxconn of engaging in a "pattern of bad faith" that caused "material and irreparable harm" to the company. On the other hand, Foxconn said that Lordstown Motors had also breached the investment agreement when the startup's stock fell below $1 per share.

Lordstown Motors, including the Endurance vehicle and related assets, is up for sale now. I'm still curious who would invest in a company whose only product proved inferior to other electric pickup trucks. Even the company's founder and ex-CEO, Stephen Burns, lost faith in its survival. Burns reportedly sold his remaining stock in the company in three separate transactions during the past two months.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories