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First Endurance trucks hit road

Submitted photo This company photo shows a Lordstown Motors’ Endurance on a test drive. The company announced Tuesday the first commercial deliveries of the battery-powered work trucks that are being assembled at the Lordstown plant.

LORDSTOWN — Lordstown Motors Corp. has begun commercial deliveries of its battery-powered work truck, the Endurance, the electric-vehicle startup announced.

The company Tuesday said the first units of the initial batch of 500 trucks are leaving the Foxconn auto assembly plant in Lordstown for customer delivery after hitting several key benchmarks, including whole-vehicle approval.

The truck also has received needed environmental approvals and has completed crash testing, according to the company.

Federal crash testing was complete in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, and Environmental Protection Agency and CARB (California Air Resources Board) certification was received in the fourth quarter, which started Oct. 1.

CARB, which falls under the California Environmental Protection Agency, deals with air pollution and emissions reduction. Full homologation, meanwhile, is based on achieving the group of certifications, company spokeswoman Colleen Robar said.

The company is not releasing the names of its customers, Robar said.

“I am very proud of the Lordstown Motors and Foxconn EV Ohio team for their hard work, grit and tenacity in achieving this milestone,” Edward Hightower, Lordstown Motors president / CEO, said.

Yet, production remains slow. The company again said Tuesday “volume will ramp slowly and accelerate as we resolve supply-chain constraints.”

Lordstown Motors did not state how many of the trucks have been made but referred to its third quarter financial results released Nov. 8. Then Lordstown Motors said a dozen of the first batch had been built at the EV manufacturing plant, which Foxconn acquired from Lordstown Motors in May.

Hightower said at the time production was expected to increase toward the end of November “as the remaining supplier part pedigree and availability issues are resolved.” About 30 trucks were expected to be built by the end of the year with the remaining built in the first half of 2023.

That, however, was down some from what the company reported in late September when it announced the launch of commercial production. Then, Lordstown Motors expected to deliver 50 trucks to customers this year and up to 450 more in the first half of 2023.

The initial batch of trucks is being limited to 500 because the cost to make the vehicle is greater than its expected selling price. Lordstown Motors has put off investments in hard tooling, building scale with suppliers and other value-driven initiatives to manage its balance sheet and limit new capital needed to hit early production targets.

Shares of Lordstown Motors stock, which hit an all-time low last week, traded up Tuesday after the announcement. They closed at $1.43 per share, up 8.3 percent.

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