Electric Truck Startup Lordstown Motors Debuts on the NASDAQ Under the Ticker Symbol ‘RIDE'
Electric truck maker Lordstown Motors Corp is now officially a public company after making its debut on the NASDAQ on Monday. The EV startup becomes the latest company to go public this year by merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in order to attract new investments on Wall Street.
Shares of Ohio-based Lordstown Motors are trading on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "RIDE." The stock rose by 20% to $21.75, but was trading just 6.5% higher at $19.42 by the afternoon.
In early August, Lordstown Motors announced its agreement to go public in a reverse merger deal with blank-check company Diamond Peak Holdings. The Lordstown Motors IPO follows that of rival Nikola Motor Company, which went public in June with its own reverse merger deal with VectoIQ Acquisition Corp.
"We are proud of this momentous occasion. Electrification of the automotive industry is at an inflection point, and this transaction helps us play our part in this transformation," said Steve Burns, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lordstown Motors.
Lordstown Motors unveiled the prototype of its Endurance pickup truck in June. The battery-powered Endurance pickup is a rugged truck designed for commercial customers. Lordstown is targeting a segment that's currently dominated by the popular Ford F-Series pickups and other gas-powered trucks from General Motors and its truck division GMC, the nameplate of the new Hummer EV.
As a new public company, Lordstown Motors is one of the few EV startups with its own factory. The company announced in November 2019 it acquired the 6.2 million square foot Lordstown assembly plant from U.S. automaker General Motors.
In November 2018, GM announced plans to close four U.S. plants, including its Lordstown, Ohio facility, which produced the Chevy Cruze sedan. The plant's closure was part of GM's restructuring plan to trim expenses, including a shift from building sedans to more profitable SUVs and pickups.
Rather than let the plant sit idle, GM agreed to loan Lordstown Motors Corp up to $40 million to retool the plant and get it ready for electric vehicle production, so the company could begin its ambitious plan of building the Endurance pickup.
"GM is excited about the progress Lordstown Motors is making because we believe they will help create more good-paying jobs in Ohio and especially in the Lordstown community," the automaker said in a statement.
General Motors sold its Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant to Lordstown Motors in 2019. The factory is being converted to build electric vehicles.
Lordstown engineers have set out to make the Endurance pickup truck the safest, most economical electric truck ever built. The Endurance is engineered to be lightweight, with all-wheel drive and a low center of gravity. For commercial and fleet customers, electric vehicles are also more reliable with lower maintenance costs compared to traditional pickup trucks. Lordstown said the battery-powered Endurance gets the gasoline equivalent of 75 mpg.
The Endurance electric pickup is the first production vehicle that utilizes a unique 4-wheel-drive hub-motor system, a design that reduces the number of moving parts.
In May, Lordstown Motors announced that its signed an exclusive licensing deal with Elaphe Propulsion Technologies, a developer of in-wheel electric motors. Elaphe is a Ljubljana, Slovenia-based developer of high-tech propulsion technology for the auto industry. The company will supply its Model L-1500 Endurance in-wheel motor, which will be used in the Lordstown Endurance pickup.
The in-wheel electric motor is the most powerful compact in-wheel motor ever produced, according to Elaphe. Each 370 volt electric motor produces a continuous torque of 650 Nm (480 ft lbs), with a peak power output of 110 kW (~150 horsepower), without using any gears. The L1500 in-wheel motor is compatible with all drive layouts, such as rear wheel drive, front wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles.
Last year, Lordstown Motors hired Rich Schmidt, a former director of manufacturing at Tesla Inc, as its chief production officer to oversee the production of the Endurance.
The company remains on pace to begin production of the Endurance in the second half of 2021 at its factory in Lordstown, Ohio.
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