Lordstown Motors shares jump on early demand and robust recruitment to build electric vehicles

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Lordstown Motors Corp CEO Steve Burns poses with a prototype of the electric vehicle startup’s Endurance pickup truck, which it will begin building in the second half of 2021, at the company’s Lordstown, Ohio plant, United States, June 25, 2020.Lordstown Motors | Reuters

Electric vehicle start-up Lordstown Motors said early bookings for its all-electric Endurance pickup were strong and that it plans to double hiring by the end, which would push the company’s shares up by 13% Monday morning.The company said it has received around 50,000 non-binding production reservations for the vehicle, which is designed for commercial buyers rather than individual owners. The average order size for reservations is around 500 vehicles, according to a press release.

Lordstown shares calmed down a bit but still held onto most of those gains, rising about 8% to $ 19.30 a share in morning trading. The company has a market capitalization of $ 3.2 billion. It went public through a Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC, last month. Lordstown’s stock has been volatile since its IPO – ranging from $ 12.80 to $ 21.75 per share since October 26.

“We continue to make significant progress on all fronts, and we are delighted to reveal these developments with the investment community and future clients today,” said Steve Burns, CEO of Lordstown, in a statement.

Lordstown said Endurance deliveries are expected to begin in September 2021, with production ramping up fully throughout 2022. The company plans to produce 40 to 50 new prototype vehicles, or “beta” vehicles, from from early 2021. The trucks will be used for crash testing, engineering and validation, according to Lordstown.

The company said it was doubling its employees to 500 by the end of this year, followed by 1,500 by the end of 2021.

The Ohio-based Lordstown company is one of a growing group of electric vehicle start-ups going public under deals with PSPCs, which have become a popular way to raise funds on Wall Street because they have a more streamlined regulatory process than traditional initial public offerings. According to Goldman Sachs, SPAC stocks typically get a first hit after the deal is announced, but tend to underperform the broader market over the long term.

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