May 29, 2019 - Energy & Environment

A mysterious electric vehicle company eyes GM's Lordstown plant

In this image, handmade sign reading "save me" leans against a large General Motors sign for the closed Lordstown Complex.

A sign outside the GM Lordstown plant. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

A plan from Workhorse, a little-known electric vehicle company, to launch production at the shuttered GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio is hardly a sure thing, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The plan, announced in early May with few details, is bound up in the politics of GM's controversial restructuring and layoffs. President Trump raised the deal's profile by tweeting about it, getting ahead of GM's disclosure of plans to sell the plant to an entity that includes Workhorse as a minority owner.

But, but, but: Via NYT, "The new venture, whose name remains secret, exists almost entirely on paper. Headed by the founder and former chief executive of Workhorse, Steve Burns, the business would have to raise at least $300 million to get Lordstown running again."

The intrigue: Burns declined to tell NYT whether he's raised money. Workhorse, meanwhile, is "barely hanging on" and had less than $3 million in cash at the end of March, the paper reports.

  • The 12-year-old company has actually built vehicles — just 365 — the Times said, noting "most of the Workhorse trucks made so far are in use at UPS."

Meanwhile: "General Motors, America's largest automaker, and Bechtel, the country's largest construction company, are teaming up to build thousands of electric vehicle fast-charging stations across the United States," CNN reports.

  • Wider fast-charging deployment is important in building consumers' confidence in EVs, which are now a tiny slice of the market.

Go deeper: GM confirms talks to sell Lordstown plant to Workhorse

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