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MotorBiscuit

Today, Lordstown Motors, the company behind the Endurance EV pickup, said that production of the troubled truck will “cease in the near future.” While not saying it is now dead, it’s dead. Most saw this coming. The Lordstown story has been one of mostly extreme lows and very few highs since its formation five years ago.

White Lordstown Endurance EV truck front 3/4 view
Lordstown Endurance EV truck | Lordstown

As will all of the EV startups, investor money mixed with a few angels means a constant whipsaw of capital, then no capital. For Lordstown, it became a shell game, and not in a fun way. When it scored capital, its value soared, drawing in more investment. Then problems would create the need to generate more capital.

And the product itself, the Endurance EV, started out as a tech darling. But as it developed, and as other companies developed better trucks faster, the Endurance got left behind. And its glorious technical advancements became just a small component of other manufacturers’ bigger and better EV efforts. It touted a range of “over 250 miles.” But the GMC Hummer and Ford Lightning EVs can hit over 300 miles between charges. 

Numerous Lordstown Endurance EV trucks in front of factory
Lordstown Endurance EV truck | Lordstown

At the beginning of 2021, the company announced it reached 100,000 pre-orders for the Endurance. But then, unfortunately, a prototype burst into flames. Soon after, reports began appearing challenging Lordstown’s claims of 100,000 orders, resulting in both the CEO and CFO heading for the hills. 

When it all looked to be over, tech giant Foxconn, known for manufacturing Apple iPhones, saw an opportunity and came to the rescue. It was a twofold benefit for Lordstown. First, the capital injection kept it afloat. But with the Taiwanese company’s manufacturing background, it was able to reinvent Endurance manufacturing. 

By mid-2022, Foxconn parent Hon Hai Technology Group purchased the assembly plant. Not long after, Endurance pickups were rolling off the assembly line in Lordstown, Ohio. In November, it proclaimed 500 Endurance EVs were delivered to customers. 

Lordstown Endurance EV truck rear view
Lordstown Endurance EV truck | Lordstown
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But by the beginning of 2023, the company recalled all 500 over quality issues, stopping production entirely in February, according to Electrek. After five years of promises, the Endurance ups and downs couldn’t rise up again after so many downs. Its high-flying stock price crashed below $1.00, prompting a de-listing from the NASDAQ stock exchange last month.

Earlier this week, Foxconn filed papers with the Security Exchange Commission seeking to unwind from its deal with Endurance. It says with the stock price dipping below $1.00 for 30 days meant Lordstown breached its investment agreements with Foxconn. Now, Lordstown says “the company will be deprived of critical funding necessary for its operations,” to the extent it may “curtail or cease operations.”

With as shaky as similar ventures by Arrival, Canoo, Faraday Future, Last Mile, Lucid, Nikola, and other EV startups attests, investors are looking at other ventures. That, plus high-interest rates, strong competition, and higher material costs means Lordstown is about to sink. It’s not surprising, but it’s a sad ending to a promising venture that just couldn’t get enough breaks.