Lordstown Motors Corp. has made the first deliveries of its initial batch of 500 electric pickup trucks to commercial fleet customers.

The Lordstown, Ohio-based EV startup said Tuesday it has begun rolling out its Endurance pickup truck after receiving a certificate of conformity from the U.S. government. The Department of Transportation must certify the vehicle to US codes before the manufacturer can begin shipping.

The company also received a certificate from the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board.

Lordstown struggled to get the truck to market. But a $170 million investment by Taipei-based Foxconn Technology Group, the contract manufacturer that makes Apple’s iPhone, has ensured an important cash injection.

“Endurance will benefit customers who use their vehicles for work. It optimizes the main characteristics of traction and maneuverability … with our motors in the wheel hubs … [and] safety … with our five star crash performance … [as well as] value in this segment,” Lordstown CEO Edward Hightower said in a statement.

Lordstown Motors overcame many obstacles to deliver its first electric trucks.

The company acquired its Lordstown factory from General Motors Company in late 2019, GM closed the facility and sought another manufacturer to resume production at the site.

Lordstown then became a public company through a reverse merger transaction with a special purpose vehicle and listed on NASDAQ in October 2020. Soon after, Lordstown faced production, supply chain and financial challenges amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. The company became the target of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2021 after Hindenburg Research accused Lordstown of misleading investors about the strength of previous truck orders. Hindenburg specializes in short selling — investing bets that a company’s stock will fall. Its results prompted Lordstown founder and former CEO Steve Burns to resign from the company.

Lordstown sold the factory to Foxconn last year for 280 million dollars.

The contract manufacturer has agreed to take over production of the Endurance pickup truck and said it will produce electric vehicles for other manufacturers at the plant. Foxconn also makes Fisker’s Pear electric station wagon and the Monarch electric tractor at the Lordstown plant.

Foxconn is in talks with Volkswagen to build Scout vehicles as the German automaker revives the former International Harvester brand in the U.S. Automotive news branch Automobilwoche reported on Tuesday. It’s unclear whether Foxconn will build the Scouts at the Lordstown plant or elsewhere.

Foxconn unveiled two new electric car prototypes last month, underscoring its ambitions to become a major carmaker, replicating its electronics assembly success as Apple’s biggest manufacturing partner. A partnership with VW could mean a major breakthrough for Foxconn.

Lordstown Motors and Foxconn are seeking a $200 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy to pay for the cost of converting a plant to produce electric trucks.


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