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Handmade sign in Lordstown, Ohio. Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

GM's plan to sell its shuttered Lordstown, Ohio, plant to the Workhorse Group, an electric truck company, would remove a political headache for GM and is already bringing new prominence to the little-known buyer.

Driving the news: GM is in talks with Workhorse and an affiliated party to "bring significant production and electric vehicle assembly jobs to the plant."

Why it matters for EVs: The popularity of pickups makes them a potentially huge market for electric models.

  • Wednesday's news is the latest development in the intensifying race to push electric pickups into the mainstream, for both commercial use — which is Workhorse's focus — and personal vehicles.

What's happening: Other recent developments in this race include:

  • Amazon and Ford both recently invested in Rivian, which is developing an electric pickup and other vehicles, and Ford also has separate plans to electrify the popular F-150 on its own.
  • GM's own broad electrification strategy includes full size pickups, CEO Mary Barra said in late April.
  • Tesla is also working on an electric pickup design.

The big picture: The sale is likely to help ease political pressure on GM, which has been under fire over the restructuring announced in late 2018 that included layoffs.

  • GM also said it's investing $700 million to expand operations in 3 other Ohio locations. The news emerged when GM-critic President Trump, citing a call with Barra, tweeted about it.
  • It's also a major lift for Workhorse, which saw its stock soar by 215% (and it's still rising in pre-market trading).

What's next: “The first vehicle we would plan to build if we were to purchase the Lordstown Complex would be a commercial electric pickup, blending Workhorse’s technology with Lordstown’s manufacturing expertise," Workhorse co-founder Steve Burns said in a statement.

Go deeper: The Vindicator, an Ohio newspaper, has much more here.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.