Lordstown Motors serves as a fresh start in a couple of respects. On one hand, it gives a new life to the 53-year-old former GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio. On the other hand, it gives Steve Burns, formerly the CEO of Workhorse, a more solid footing and second wind for bringing a fleet-focused electric pickup—called the Lordstown Endurance—to market.
Burns, who is scheduled to introduce a production-bound prototype version of the Endurance on Thurday, is no newbie to the segment. He has an established track record delivering special-purpose fleet vehicles with Workhorse, which was once owned by Navistar and then AMP Electric Vehicles. UPS found that Workhorse plug-in hybrid delivery trucks cost no more to run than regular delivery vans, including higher upfront costs, and Workhorse remains a finalist in the long-delayed bidding to provide the U.S. Postal Service next-generation delivery vehicle.
In recent years Workhorse presented designs for its own electrified vehicles, the N-Gen commercial parcel-delivery vehicle—complete with a deployable drone on top—and the W-15 extended-range work-oriented fleet pickup, but a lack of funds prevented both of those vehicles from production.