Mullen Technologies – the Californian-based startup that plans to sell Chinese-designed electric cars in the United States – has returned with new plans. Now there is a different first model and production plan. And not for the first time in the company’s history.
After Mullen announced last year that it would produce the Chinese Qiantu K50 electric sports car in the USA, the plans have now apparently changed: Mullen is now accepting advance orders for the MX-05, an all-electric SUV with a range of 325 miles (523 kilometres) and a base price of $55,000.
On the now published drawing, the MX-05 looks quite compact for US standards but has a long hood. Mullen has not revealed any of the electric car’s data apart from its acceleration from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 3.2 seconds. That leaves a lot of unknown information such as the length, propulsion power and charging capacity or the platform.
For the production of up to 1,000 electric cars per year, Mullen is building a pilot plant in Monrovia, California that is scheduled for completion in April 2021. Mullen is aiming for the first deliveries of the MX-05 in the second quarter of 2022. At the same time, the electric car startup has not revealed where the planned volume production is to take place. Nevertheless, the company has said that once it successfully launches the MX-05, it will then launch further high riding models, a smaller MX-03 and a larger MX-07.
“We plan on completing the build-out (of the pilot plant) by April 2021 and to begin assembly of certification prototypes by July 2021,” says Mullen CEO David Michery. “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”.
Several US media outlets are questioning whether the MX-05 will ever make it onto the road. The reason for their doubts lie in the company’s history: in 2014, the company took over the plans of the failed US startup Coda to build an electric sedan. The vehicle, which was renamed Mullen 700e, never made it into production, contrary to the company’s original statements. The production of the Qiantu K50 announced for 2020 also seems doubtful in view of the now published change of plan.