Lordstown Motors

Lawmakers Seek Renewal of Loan Program that Could Help Lordstown Motors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, along with U.S. Reps. Tim Ryan and Marcia Fudge have urged the leadership of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees to preserve funding for the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program.

The program is critical for bringing new manufacturing jobs to Ohio and across the country, lawmakers wrote in a letter sent to the leadership Dec. 13.  It is especially relevant to ventures such as Lordstown Motors Corp.,  a startup that plans to begin production of the Endurance in September, billed as the world’s first all-electric pickup.

Lordstown Motors has applied for financing through the loan program, according to the lawmakers. 

It is unclear as to how much funding Lordstown Motors has requested, and Lordstown Motors representatives could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. Initially, the startup had sought $200 million from the program.

“Workers in Lordstown, and across America’s industrial heartland, are ready to do the work building the vehicles that the world will drive in the 21st Century,” the lawmakers wrote. 

Ryan represents Ohio’s 13th district, which includes the Lordstown Motors plant, while Fudge represents the state’s 11th district, which covers much of Cleveland and an area snaking south that includes Richfield, Fairlawn and a small part of Akron. 

“As we have worked with the community to reverse the devastation left by GM’s departure, potential investors have made clear that support from ATVM is a key part of the path to bringing advanced auto manufacturing into communities that are struggling to recover jobs lost to outsourcing,” the letter continues. “In fact, Lordstown Motors, a manufacturer of electric pickup trucks and other vehicles, is utilizing factory space at the former GM facility, and has submitted an application for ATVM loan funds.”

The loan program was created in 2007 through the U.S. Department of Energy to assist emerging companies that use advanced technologies such as electric power and alternative fuels.

Brown, Ryan and Fudge, all Democrats, said in the letter that they are alarmed at reports that the committee may consider defunding the $4.3 billion program in the year-end spending bill.  

“ATVM is an investment in America’s manufacturing future that we must maintain if we hope to preserve American leadership in automotive innovation,” the letter concluded. 

The program this year came under pressure from President Donald Trump, who earlier unveiled a fiscal year 2021 budget that scuttled funding for the program. 

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.