Battery Plant, LMC Projects Advance Despite Virus

LORDSTOWN, Ohio – While the coronavirus outbreak has brought much of the country to a standstill, it hasn’t halted work on General Motors Corp.’s proposed battery plant or efforts by Lordstown Motors Corp. to convert the plant GM operated for decades to manufacture electric pickup trucks. 

This week, GM completed the $5.1 million purchase of the 158-acre site where it plans to build the plant. Earlier this month, officials said they wanted to begin construction in April on the proposed $2.3 billion plant where it plans to manufacture batteries for the electric vehicles that GM is introducing. 

The company is seeking approval for environmental and building permits before moving forward.  

“Things continue to progress,” GM spokesman Dan Flores said in an email Thursday. “The permitting process is still ongoing. We are still focused on beginning construction once all the approvals are in place.” 

The process is “still moving along as planned,” he added. 

The virus hasn’t halted startup Lordstown Motors Corp.’s efforts to convert the former GM Lordstown plant, which the automaker shuttered last March, for production of its Endurance electric pickup truck, although it has changed how and where work is being done.   

The primary focus, a company spokesman said, is “doing what it can to slow and prevent further spread of COVID-19,” so its staff is working from home. 

“This includes our leadership, sales and marketing teams, as well as our engineers, who continue testing and fine-tuning the technology that will power the way we work,” he said.

Lordstown Motors has announced plans to begin production of the vehicles for sale later this year.

“We are running ahead of schedule, and we do not anticipate any major production delays,” the spokesman said. “We are continuing to monitor the situation and prioritizing the health and safety of our workers and community as we do.”

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.