Ohio electric truck maker picks Michigan for R&D center

LANSING—Michigan continues to claim its position as the automotive capital of the world with the announcement from Ohio-based Lordstown Motors Corp. on plans to establish an automotive research and development center in Farmington Hills with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.

Lordstown Motors received a $1 million Michigan Business Program performance-based grant to support the $3.6 million R&D center, which is expected to create 141 jobs.

Lordstown Motors is developing an all-electric pickup truck called the Lordstown Endurance (pictured above). Founded in 2019, the company debuted the Endurance at its Ohio headquarters over the summer and has received more than 50,000 pre-orders for the vehicle.

The center will consist of offices, space for vehicle inspection and benchmarking, and laboratories for testing, validation and prototyping. The company’s decision to locate its R&D headquarters in Michigan is part of its long-term vision of establishing an electric vehicle center in the Midwest.

“While we are proud of the truck we’ve built, the secret to Lordstown Motors has always rested in the workers – both the worker building the truck and the worker using the truck,” said Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns. “It takes a village and the opening of this center in Michigan reinforces the proof that innovation and manufacturing can be developed in the Midwest.”

Lordstown plans to invest in its employees through on-the-job training, various advancement opportunities and a competitive benefits package. The company is working with local universities to recruit individuals, and Oakland County Michigan Works has partnered with Lordstown to assist in workforce assessment, talent recruitment, and training support. The city of Farmington Hills has offered free use of its Costick Center for recruitment events. Individuals interested in careers with Lordstown should visit here.

Today’s announcement builds on the recent announcement by Navistar that it is planning to establish its NEXT eMobility Center in Rochester Hills creating 50 high-wage jobs focused on eMobility-specific engineering roles, as well as the expansion in Ann Arbor announced by May Mobility in August.

“Lordstown Motors’ decision to expand into Michigan for R&D speaks to the type of investments and job creation our state is seeing right now. Michigan presents powerful competitive advantages because of how robust our mobility ecosystem continues to be,” said Trevor Pawl, Chief Mobility Officer with the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME).

This new office, launched by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earlier this year, is working across state government, academia and private industry to enhance Michigan’s mobility ecosystem, including developing dynamic mobility and electrification policies and supporting the startup and scale-up of emerging technologies and businesses.

The Endurance pickup truck is designed with features fleets want, like an onboard power export, allowing workers to run power tools at the job site without the need for a portable generator or leaving the truck running. Fleet managers benefit from less breakdowns, lower maintenance, and lower cost. The truck is designed to be lightweight, with all-wheel drive and a low center of gravity, while maintaining ground clearance.

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