Mullen Automotive acquires bankrupt ELMS for $240 million

Mullen Automotive said Wednesday it has acquired Electric Last Mile Solutions, paving the way for the California-based startup to manufacture its first electric vehicle.

The $240 million cash purchase allows Mullen the capability to build up to 50,000 EVs annually, accelerating the launch of the Mullen FIVE and Bollinger B1 and B2 retail vehicles. The deal also gives Mullen control over ELMS’s inventory, intellectual property rights and plant in Mishawaka, Indiana.

Mullen, which went public in a 2021 SPAC merger, is in growth mode, acquiring in September a 60% controlling interest in Bollinger Motors, a Michigan-based startup that aimed to build battery-electric commercial trucks and off-road pickups. Electric Last Mile Solutions, another Michigan startup, filed for bankruptcy in June, less than a year after it went public through a $1.4 billion SPAC deal.

Several startups that went public in high-profile reverse mergers over the past couple of years have faced bankruptcy, SEC scrutiny or cash crunches. The purchase of ELMS will allow Mullen to “to shorten its production path and aggressively expand into the commercial and consumer EV market,” David Michery, CEO and chairman of Mullen Automotive, said in a statement.

The automaker plans to build the Mullen FIVE, as well as the Mullen Class 1 and Class 3 commercial delivery vehicles expected next year, at its factory in Tunica, Mississippi. In addition to the Mullen FIVE slated to enter production in 2024, the company plans to build the Five RS, an “ultra-high-performance EV sport crossover” with 1,000 horsepower, a top speed of 200 mph and 0-to-60 acceleration under two seconds.