The humble Ohio community of Lordstown has played a dynamic role in EV history. The first act of the drama was a typical Rust Belt tragedy—shuttered auto plant, lost jobs. The second was a heart-warming resurrection story—plucky startup builds innovative electric pickup. Next came a tawdry tale of a missed opportunity to electrify postal delivery vans, and a told-you-so parable in which credulous investors lost their chips in a SPAC deal. What next?
The latest news from Lordstown is good, as far as it goes: Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn has begun production of MK-V electric tractors for Monarch.
In 2022, struggling EV startup Lordstown Motors sold its manufacturing facility to Foxconn. As part of the deal, the Taiwanese experts are to help bring the automaker’s Endurance pickup into production. Foxconn has also made a deal with Fisker (another company with a highly colorful history) to assemble its planned EV model, the PEAR.
We’ve heard nothing recently about the Endurance or the PEAR, but the electric tractors are real. Monarch says an initial five units have been assembled and are ready for customer deliveries. According to the companies, MK-V production is on schedule. Foxconn says it is “very pleased with the product quality,” and will now fine-tune its assembly lines and material sourcing as it prepares for full-scale production.
The MK-V can be operated with or without a driver, and is equipped with advanced safety technologies, including collision prevention and human detection, which enables it to stop moving or shut down if it detects a person nearby.
“As a leader in manufacturing some of the world’s most influential electric and autonomous technologies, Foxconn is the ideal partner for us as we look to rapidly expand production of the MK-V,” said Monarch CEO and co-founder Praveen Penmesta. “Today’s farmers need solutions like the MK-V now that will increase farm profitability and sustainability.”