Comau to help Mullen expand production
Californian electric car start-up Mullen Automotive is working with Italian automation specialist Comau, part of the Stellantis Group, to expand its body assembly plant in the US state of Mississippi.
Mullen’s AMEC (Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center) production facility in Tunica will build the Mullen Five electric SUV, which the manufacturer formerly called the MX-05. The expansion plans, in which Comau is involved, include 112,000 square feet for body shop facilities, painting and general assembly.
Comau says it is assisting Mullen not only with the production machinery, but also already with the process design and equipment for the AMEC. The Stellantis subsidiary’s experience in body shop design will give Mullen “a significant competitive advantage in terms of efficiency and body-in-white quality”, the Italian company confidently states. A few days ago it was announced that Comau had also supplied the production equipment for Geely’s Ningbo plant, where the first 10,000 Zeekr 001s were built within a few months.
Mullen, which changed its name from Mullen Technologies to Mullen Automotive as part of the IPO via a Spac merger, had already unveiled the first version of the MX-05 in October 2020 and has since included the first large orders for the vehicle. In autumn 2021, the production version, the Mullen Five, was unveiled, with its flowing roofline more reminiscent of a crossover-like SUV coupe than a classic SUV.
Around the premiere at the LA Auto Show, it was also announced that the company has increased the reservation limit of the Five from 5,000 to 25,000 vehicles. The first 25,000 vehicles will also be built in a special Launch Edition. It is currently unknown how many of the 25,000 initial vehicles have already been reserved.
In March 2021, Mullen had announced that it would rely on lithium-sulphur cells. The pouch cells from the supplier NexTech are supposed to be up to 60 per cent lighter than current lithium-ion batteries, and the boxes are also supposed to drop to under 75 euros per kWh. Then, at the end of September, it was announced that Mullen was cooperating with the German company Hofer Powertrain on the electric drive systems.
mullenusa.com, comau.com (PDF)
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