Lordstown Motors could provide electric pickups to Ohio utility

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Lordstown Motors Corp. could provide 250 electric pickups to one of the largest electric utilities in the country, the company said Wednesday.

FirstEnergy has signed a letter of intent to buy the Endurance electric pickups from Lordstown Motors.

Lordstown Motors is aiming to build the first electric pickup in the U.S., despite competition from General Motors, Ford, Rivian, Tesla and others. The letter from FirstEnergy is not the first letter of intent Lordstown Motors has received, but it is the first the company has disclosed publicly, a spokesman said.

“Over the past couple of months, we have worked to better understand the needs of local residents and businesses,” Steve Burns, Lordstown Motors CEO, said in a statement. “The ultimate goal is to continue to prioritize relationships, like the one we’ve developed with our partners at FirstEnergy, which drive innovative developments for this community.”

FirstEnergy, based in Akron, Ohio, plans to deploy the pickups to perform work required to provide electric service to its more than 6 million customers. FirstEnergy’s customer base spans from Ohio to New Jersey.

“We’re proud to partner with Lordstown Motors to enhance our operating fleet and support continued electric vehicle growth throughout our service area,” Dennis Chack, senior vice president of product development, sales and marketing at FirstEnergy, said in the statement.

Lordstown Motors says the Endurance pickup, designed for fleet and commercial use, will be the first production vehicle with a four-wheel-drive hub motor system to reduce the number of moving parts.

Lordstown Motors purchased its assembly plant from GM in November. GM had used the plant since 1966 to build more than 16 million vehicles, most recently the Chevrolet Cruze. The plant ended GM production in March and became permanently closed under the labor contract signed with the UAW last fall.

In December, GM and LG Chem invested $2.3 billion in a joint venture to build batteries near Lordstown.

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