Lordstown Motors cuts 2021 production estimate for electric pickup to at best 50% of prior expectations
In its report of first quarter 2021 financial results and outlook, Lordstown Motors, a startup developing electric light duty trucks focused on the commercial fleet market (earlier post), said that the expected production of its Endurance full-size electric pickup in 2021 will be limited—at best 50% of prior expectations. The release of Q1 financials occurred on the same day Ford announced its F-150 Lightning Pro electric pickup targeted at commercial buyers. (Earlier post.)
The Endurance, with a starting price of $52,500, features four in-wheel hub motors and a 109 kWh battery pack for an expected range of more than 250 miles (EPA cycle). The always-on 4x4 Ford Lightning Pro starts at $39,974, with a targeted range of 230 miles on the standard battery pack, and 300 miles with the extended range version (starting at $49,974).
Lordstown’s timeline to Start of Production (SoP) in late-September 2021, which will be at limited capacity, remains on track. To-date, the company has completed construction of 48 out of 57 prototypes and will begin pre-production vehicle (PPV) builds in July.
Overall, the company reported a first quarter 2021 net loss of $125 million, capex of $53 million and cash of $587 million as of 31 March 2021.
On the positive side of the ledger, Endurance has passed the frontal and pole crash tests; the vehicles are performing as planned during other durability and validation tests. Lordstown continues to expect it can achieve a 5-star crash rating.
Retooling of stamping, assembly, body, and paint shops at the Lordstown plant are nearly complete. Phase One of the battery line is installed and is in the commissioning phase, while the first electric hub motor line remains on track to begin equipment installation in July.
The company upped its expectations for operating expenses by $115 million relative to the prior quarter’s expectations to reflect significantly higher spending related to:
Completing the beta program;
Conducting vehicle validation tests;
Securing necessary parts/equipment for production; and
Utilizing third-party engineering resources.
As a result, the company needs to raise additional capital.
One of the Endurance betas.
We have encountered some challenges, including COVID-related and industry-wide related issues, as we progress towards our start of production deadline. These include significantly higher than expected expenditures for parts/equipment, expedited shipping costs, and expenses associated with third-party engineering resources. We secured a number of critical parts and equipment in advance, so we are still in a position to ramp the Endurance, but we do need additional capital to execute on our plans. We believe we have several opportunities to raise capital in various forms and have begun those discussions.—Steve Burns, Lordstown Motors’ Chairman and CEO
Lordstown is pursuing an Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan from the US Department of Energy (DOE), which is in the due diligence phase, and tax credits and grants across multiple jurisdictions.