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Lordstown motors to unveil Endurance

ALMOST HERE — Lordstown Motors Corp. will give the public its first glimpse of the startup’s all-electric Endurance pickup truck Thursday at the company’s headquarters in Lordstown. -- Contributed

Lordstown Motors Corp. will give the public its first glimpse of the startup’s all-electric Endurance pickup truck Thursday at the company’s headquarters in Lordstown.

The launch at the plant, the former General Motors assembly plant, was given the OK by the state with 150 to 200 guests practicing social distancing and wearing masks or goggles amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Company officials had planned to publicly reveal the Endurance this month in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, but its cancellation caused the company to change gears and do a virtual reveal instead.

The media will be at the plant next week for the unveiling, which will be filmed and released to the public Friday or June 29.

For now, the event is set to begin at 4:15 p.m. with a news conference with Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns and other executives followed by a 5:30 p.m. launch. Time has been set aside for ride-along opportunities.

“This will be the Endurance’s public debut, and the only time we have planned in the next few months to make the truck available to view in person,” a release from the company states.

The company is partnering with Elaphe Propulsion Technologies in Slovenia to manufacture the Endurance’s in-wheel motor at the plant in Lordstown. Already, engineering on the manufacturing line at the plant has begun and the areas for the new battery and motor lines — so far 200,000 square feet — have been demolished, according to the company.

In addition, work to finalize the prototype battery pack is ongoing with the goal of having a semi-automated line for pre-production at the plant this year and the retooling the body shop was to start last week. Paint and stamping work also is moving ahead.

Late in May, the company announced Westlake-based Momentum Groups, a fleet management company that specializes in corporate vehicles, pledged to buy 900 Endurances. The agreement ensures Momentum will be among the first commercial fleet customers to receive delivery of the pickup in early 2021 when full-scale production starts.

Lordstown Motors also has commitments from Akron’s FirstEnergy to purchase 250 Endurances for its fleet, Clean Fuels Ohio to encourage the sale of 500 trucks and from Innervation, a Florida company that specializes in electric-vehicle charging stations, to broker 1,000 more of the trucks to clients to convert fleets to electric vehicles. The truck has a starting sticker price of $52,000 before various tax credits.

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