electric trucks

Vice President Mike Pence rode onto the stage Thursday in the newly-unveiled Lordstown Motors electric pickup truck, the Endurance, to deliver a wide-ranging speech to the Northeast Ohio crowd.

Among the topics he touched on at the former General Motors plant in Lordstown were the economy, the Trump administration’s negotiations with China and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

“We fought for free and fair trade and the values and ideals that have always made this country great,” Pence said. “On every single promise, President Trump delivered for the people of Ohio.”

When the General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio, went dark last year, it was a familiar story for the region. Yet another manufacturing powerhouse — a pillar of the local economy and a rare source of good jobs — was shutting down.

But the closure of the plant was not the end of the story. The factory was sold to Lordstown Motors, a startup building an electric pickup truck that's scheduled to be unveiled on Thursday.

Manufacturing is one of the first sectors scheduled to open back up in Ohio and it can't come soon enough for the Cincinnati owner of Lordstown Motors, who says the company will begin production of the world's first fully electric pickup truck in January 2021. This is a delay from the original production date in the fall of 2020.

Boosters for the Youngstown-area economy have ever more frequently dubbed the Mahoning Valley as “Voltage Valley,” hoping technology will give far Northeast Ohio a needed jolt. A big piece of this transformation is the new life supporters are trying to breathe into a shuttered GM plant in Lordstown. An electric truck company named Lordstown Motors could be a tent pole for this future tech strategy. ideastream’s Glenn Forbes joined Tony Ganzer on All Things Considered to talk about Lordstown Motors.

The GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, closed in 2019 as part of a massive company restructuring.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

The company that bought Lordstown’s former General Motors plant expects to start producing an electric pickup truck there within the next year.

The GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, closed in 2019 as part of a massive company restructuring.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

General Motors is selling a massive assembly plant it shut down earlier this year in Lordstown, a closing that drew threats and scolding from President Donald Trump, to a newly formed company that said Thursday it intends to begin making electric trucks by late 2020.

Steve Burns is a man of big ideas. In December 2017 he proudly showed off Workhorse's electric pick-up truck to WVXU, was perfecting drone delivery off the company's electric delivery trucks and touted his personal flying machine. Now he is planning to buy the GM Lordstown plant.

Mark Franko, 28-year General Motors employee, holds an American flag as employees gather outside the plant, Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Lordstown, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

News about a possible buyer for the General Motors plant in Lordstown is generating a lot of interest in Workhorse, the Cincinnati company involved in the deal.