Lordstown Motors, an EV startup, is delaying the launch its pickup truck, the Endurance. This comes one day after it announced the sale of its Ohio plant to Foxconn, an iPhone assembler.
Lordstown Motors announced Thursday that the Endurance will now be shipped in the third quarter 2022. This is not the second quarter as planned due to supply chain shortages. It reported a loss of $96M in the third quarter and stated that it would finish the year with $150 million to $180M in cash, including a $100 million payment by Foxconn towards the purchase of the factory. Lordstown Motors continues to build pre-production trucks at its Ohio plant, despite having stated that production-level trucks would be available in September.
The startup also distanced itself from the in-wheel technology it had been promoting since its inception. It now plans to develop additional vehicles using Foxconn's EV platform. The Endurance will continue to use hub motors but Daniel Ninivaggi, the new CEO, stated Thursday that "not all vehicles need hub motors and we'll weigh both the benefits and the drawbacks."
Ninivaggi also spoke highly of the hub motor's unique combination of horsepower and torque, handling and turning radius. (Kimberly Spell, Lordstown Motors' marketing lead, stated in an email to The Verge after the story was published that the company wants to "reiterate its commitment to technology that will fuel Endurance."
"Not every vehicle requires hub motors."
Lordstown Motors went from a startup that was just starting to get support from the Trump administration to a publicly traded company that claimed it would launch the first EV pickup truck. Now, the company is facing fraud allegations and government investigations. It recently handed over its entire leadership team (much as Workhorse was the EV startup Lordstown Motors was essentially born from) and sold its factory to Foxconn in order to remain alive.
Lordstown Motors will occupy only 30,000 of the 6.2 Million square feet at the former factory. Meanwhile, other electric vehicle startups such as Fisker Inc., come in to work alongside Foxconn on their own electric vehicles.
Ninivaggi, who has just completed a seven-year stint on the board at Hertz, stressed on Thursday's conference call that Foxconn was "only part" of the solution.
He said, "We understand that our company's not an appendage of Foxconn." "We must execute and execute better and deliver the Endurance Truck."
He thanked all the shareholders for sticking in there with him and recognized the startup that beat Lordstown Motors to bring an electric pickup truck to market: Rivian.
It's not an easy task; we see the news each day, with Rivian's market cap of $100 billion. He said that while we are aware of the fact that there is still a lot to do, we believe we have a clear path and a strong partner.
Update at 8:25 PM ET: Lordstown Motors has responded to our request for more information about their support of the hub motor technology.