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EV start-up Workhorse swings to a quarterly loss on recalls, outlines new product plan

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Workhorse C-Series
Courtesy: Workhorse

Struggling electric vehicle start-up Workhorse Group expects to build roughly 250 vehicles in 2022 after completing a product-roadmap overhaul, the company said Tuesday.

Workhorse has struggled for several years to get market traction for its electric commercial vans. The company’s C-1000, designed for so-called “last mile” delivery service and launched in 2020, was recalled last year after CEO Rick Dauch ordered a redesign.

The company now plans to discontinue the model after using up its existing parts inventories.

Workhorse reported a net loss of $156.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2021. That was a sharp decline from the $280.5 million net profit it reported a year prior, when it recorded a $322 million gain on its stake in another EV startup, Lordstown Motors.

Workhorse sold its stake in Lordstown during the third quarter.

Since joining Workhorse in July of last year, Dauch has hired a new senior leadership team, opened a new technical center in Michigan and revamped the company’s product plan.

But it may be a while before investors see tangible results from those efforts.

The new product plan hinges on two new electric commercial vehicle platforms, the first of which won’t begin production until the third quarter of 2023, the company said on Tuesday.

In the meantime, Workhorse will build another new electric commercial van based on chassis supplied by a Canadian rival, GreenPower Motor.

Under a deal announced on Tuesday morning, GreenPower will supply 1,500 EV chassis to Workhorse over 21 months beginning in July. Workhorse will build its new vans on those chassis, with the first of the new vans expected to ship by the end of September.

“Our outlook for 2022 reflects our planned progressive ramp in manufacturing, which is backloaded, as we are not expecting to produce any vehicles in the first half of the year,” Chief Financial Officer Bob Ginnan said on Tuesday.

Those new vans, plus the last of the C-1000s, should generate at least $25 million in revenue in 2022, Ginnan said.

Workhorse had about $201.6 million in cash on hand as of December 31, 2021.

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