WASHINGTON -- Startup Lordstown Motors Corp. said Wednesday it is in advanced talks with the U.S. Energy Department seeking a government loan from a program to help pay for the costs of retooling a factory to build electric trucks.
Lordstown CEO Steve Burns in January 2020 told Reuters the company was pursuing a $200 million loan from the program for a former General Motors factory in northeast Ohio it acquired in 2019.
Burns said the loan would help "us make more (vehicles) once we start" and "pull future vehicles forward a little bit." The company's production plan does not require the government loan, but Burns said the loan "puts things on steroids."
Burns declined to disclose the precise loan amount sought. "I think you should think in terms of -- this is the same loan that Tesla got " Burns said.
In 2010, Tesla received a $465 million loan from the Energy Department's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program, which also awarded larger loans to Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. to retool factories, but has not funded any new loans since 2011.
Nissan and Tesla repaid their loans. Ford is scheduled to repay the remainder of its loan by June 2022.
The Energy Department did not respond to a request for comment.