Yet another EV startup has announced plans to go public via a so-called “reverse merger” with an already listed company.
Southern California-based Mullen Technologies in early August agreed to a stock-for-stock reverse merger with Nasdaq-listed Net Element, a company that specializes in mobile payment systems for businesses. Similar deals were recently announced by fellow EV startups Lordstown Motors, Fisker and Canoo, and already executed by Nikola.
Funding acquired via the deal will support Mullen’s plans to manufacture and sell EVs in the United States, starting with a compact SUV dubbed the MX-05 and a sports car called the Dragonfly K50 (shown above). The sports car was first shown in 2016 as the Qiantu K50 by Chinese design company CH-Auto Technology, and it’s already on sale in China.
The Dragonfly K50 features aluminum and carbon-fiber construction, a dual-motor system rated at up to 375 horsepower, and a promised range of over 200 miles. It’s priced from $124,999.
The MX-05 is a small SUV priced from $55,000. No specs have been revealed.
Mullen is accepting reservations for both models though neither vehicle has been certified for sale, meaning the wait could be a few years.
Mullen said Thursday it plans to convert its R&D center in Monrovia, California, into a pilot plant to build the first examples of the MX-05 starting in 2021, for certification purposes. The company estimates the first customer examples could then be delivered in the second quarter of 2022.
“We plan on completing the build-out (of the pilot plant) by April 2021 and to begin assembly of certification prototypes by July 2021,” Mullen Chairman and CEO David Michery said in a statement. “These vehicles will be used for homologation which is expected to take 16 months and be completed by May of 2022, at which time we expect to begin delivering the first vehicles to the public.”
Mullen hasn’t said when the Dragonfly K50 will be delivered to customers. The company in 2019 said the sports car would be built at a plant to be constructed in Spokane County, Washington, but in its latest statement the company said the car would be imported, presumably from China, under Independent Commercial Importers rules.
Should all go to plan, Mullen will then introduce two more models dubbed the MX-03 and MX-07. These are likely to be SUVs positioned above and below the MX-05.