LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The all-electric Lordstown Motors Endurance rolled out from behind a curtain, around the crowd of 300 people and eventually onto the state Thursday afternoon.
It was driven by a secret service agent with Vice President Mike Pence riding shot gun and Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns in the back seat.
“It really is an honor to be here. To be able to drive up and unveil what will soon be the first fully electric pickup truck on the market in the United States of America. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Lordstown Endurance,” Pence said.
Photos: Endurance truck unveiled
This Endurance was silver with orange wheels. It’s a prototype and was not built in Lordstown. Before the unveil, Burns spoke about the importance of the day.
“I think people expect this kind innovation to come from the coast. There’s nothing wrong with California, but the Midwest is where cars are made. The Midwest happens to be where the most pickup trucks are sold, and so we thought, why should California have all the fun?” Burns said.
State Senators Mike Rulli and Sean O’Brien were among those in the audience. Rulli said he’d like to buy the first one.
“Well, why not? This is an amazing vehicle. We’re lucky to have it here,” Rulli said.
“And if you see what’s going on with GM and LG Chem making our area the voltage capital of the world, it’s very exciting times to be here,” O’Brien said.
Lordstown Motors moved into the old GM Lordstown plant last year and joined the effort to rebrand the area as Voltage Valley, highlighting the company’s all-electric vehicles.
Lordstown Motors’ executive team is made up of leaders from Telsa, Toyota, GM VW, Hyundai, and others, according to the company’s website.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Lordstown Motors stands to be a competitor for the big three automakers, Ford, GM and Chrysler, and CEO Steve Burns says he plans to dominate the all-electric market.
Also in the audience was Jimmy Dobson, a franchisee of ServPro who has offices in Warren. ServPro has already ordered 1,250 Endurances.
“To look at this truck, how it’s put together and the look of it is amazing, how it will perform for us and the efficiencies we’ll get out of it, we’re absolutely excited about it,” said Dobson.
The Goodyear blimp was also seen flying over the plant because it’s Goodyear tires that will be on the Endurance.
Thursday, a small group of protesters lined up near the plant in anticipation of Pence’s arrival. They carried signs that read, “Black Live Matter, “Pence You Make US Sick”,” and “Trump to Laid Off GM Workers: It doesn’t really matter.”
They then moved to downtown Youngstown, where they were greeted by a group of supporters of President Donald Trump. Those supporters, carrying flags, lined up near the courthouse, hoping to catch a glimpse of the vice president.
After Pence’s Lordstown event, he went to the Youngstown Police Department, where he spoke with law enforcement.