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Lordstown Needs More Money, Halves Production of Endurance e-Truck

Lordstown Motors is not having a good week. The EV startup has announced that it needs further funding to deliver on the estimated production number of the flagship electric pickup truck Endurance, or it would have to halve that number.
First Beta Endurance trucks rolls off the production line 7 photos
Lordstown's first vehicle, the Endurance electric pickup truck, is expected to start deliveries later in 2021Lordstown's first vehicle, the Endurance electric pickup truck, is expected to start deliveries later in 2021Lordstown's first vehicle, the Endurance electric pickup truck, is expected to start deliveries later in 2021Lordstown's first vehicle, the Endurance electric pickup truck, after 10 minutes on its first road testLordstown's first vehicle, the Endurance electric pickup truck, after 10 minutes on its first road testLordstown's first vehicle, the Endurance electric pickup truck, after 10 minutes on its first road test
On an investor call on Monday, May 24, Lordstown CEO Steve Burns said that this was a good news-bad news type of scenario, the NY Times reports. The bad news is, obviously, that the startup needs more money to make the 2,200-unit estimate by the end of the year. The good news is that, even if Lordstown fails to secure more funds, it will still bring the Endurance to market this September and, in the process, be the first company to mass-produce an electric pickup truck.

The initial goal was to deliver 2,200 Endurance trucks by the end of 2021, starting in September, with a long-term goal of upping production from one truck every six minutes to one truck every four minutes via automation. In the first quarter of 2021, Lordstown reports losses of $125 million, which, together with the lingering effects of the international health crisis and “industry-wide related issues,” forces them to reconsider the initial estimation.

Assuming Lordstown doesn’t secure more investments at this stage, it can deliver under 1,000 trucks by the end of the year, at best, Burns said. Still, Lordstown will be the first automaker to bring a mass-produced electric pickup truck to market: nothing has changed on this account.

“We are on par with somebody like that at this point, and we’re getting to market faster,” Burns said, referencing a “watershed moment” for electric pickup trucks last week (*cough Ford’s F-150 Lightning cough*). “We want as many people buying our vehicle while we’re the only game in town. We want to be on version 2.0 when somebody comes out with version 1.0.”

According to Burns, 48 Beta units of Endurance (of a planned 57-unit batch) have been completed and used for testing. Everything is on track, with the exception that fewer units of the e-truck will be delivered if Lordstown doesn’t get more funds, the CEO insists.

Burns stresses that they are already in talks with potential investors and considering the possibility of a loan, which would allow Lordstown to stick to that initial timeline. Considering the troubled year the company has had so far, industry analysts are not as optimistic as he is.

In January this year, the first Endurance prototype to leave the factory burned down within 10 minutes of a test drive. In March, short-seller Hindenburg Research came out with a report claiming Lordstown had been selling “lies” and that the production version of Endurance was years away. That same month, the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a probe into the allegations.

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