Lordstown Motors advances, partners with Slovenian company
By RON SELAK JR.
LORDSTOWN — Lordstown Motors Corp. is partnering with a company based in Slovenia to produce the hub motors that will propel the automaker’s all-electric pickup truck.
The company announced Tuesday its licensing agreement with Elaphe Propulsion Technologies to develop the Model L-1500 Endurance In-Wheel Motor.
Lordstown Motors expects to start manufacturing beta and pre-production vehicles at its Lordstown plant, the former General Motors automaking facility, in the next six months.
The agreement calls for Lordstown Motors employees to build the electric motors at the plant.
“Our relationship with Elaphe goes back over a decade, and their commitment to Lordstown Motors Corp. and passion for the Lordstown Endurance is stronger than ever,” said Steve Burns, Lordstown Motors CEO. “The caliber of work they’ve produced is some of the best and most innovative in the industry; we’re proud of the work we’ve done together up to this point and enthusiastic about what’s to come.”
Initial setup of the 20,000-square-foot production line, which Elaphe will help manage and support, has already begun, but will take about nine months to get to full capacity. Lordstown motors will start using the new lines within the next six months.
Elaphe will also provide engineering, technical and consulting support. Financial terms are not being disclosed.
“While most vehicle manufacturers are focusing merely on catching up and competing with legacy electric powertrain technologies pioneered decades ago by pure-EV OEMs, Lordstown is making a giant leap forward by building its vehicles around the needs of their users and not around the traditional powertrain-integration-imposed tradeoffs,” Gorazd Lampic, Elaphe CEO, said.
Lordstown Motors in recent months has announced partnerships with companies or groups to buy and broker the truck, including a pledge from Akron’s First Energy to purchase 250 Endurances for its fleet.
It also has commitments from 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.
In addition, Lordstown Motors is sitting on about 6,000 pre-orders in a transfer agreement with Cincinnati-based Workhorse Group for its commercial pickup truck, the W-15. The agreement is part of a partnership between the companies that lets Lordstown Motors use Workhorse technology to produce the Endurance in exchange for Workhorse holding 10 percent of Lordstown Motors.
The truck, which has a starting price of $52,000 before various tax credits, has four moving parts — the hub motors. It can go up to 260 miles on a single full charge and can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, company officials said.