Mullen Automotive Has Had a Weird Week — Even by Their Standards

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Mullen Automotive Has Had a Weird Week — Even by Their Standards

Mullen Automotive has had a big week. The Orange-County based electric vehicle hopeful made headlines for:

  1. Partnering with an Israeli company called Watergen that extracts water from humid air. Mullen wants to put these systems on their electric delivery vans in the future to provide drinking water to drivers.
  2. The acquisition of Bollinger Motors, a failed EV truck company that was essentially dead in the water with no path to market. Mullen paid $148.2 million in cash and stock for a 60% controlling interest in the company.
  3. A securities filing, first reported on by TechCrunch, which revealed that the company is in danger of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange due to its poor stock performance.

    The partnership with Watergen is a strange one. Bear in mind that Mullen has yet to deliver a single car to customers and does not expect its first vehicle, the Mullen FIVE, to show up on roads until 2024. Adding a water fountain to their vehicle may seem like putting the cart before the horse. Mullen says the Watergen tech is more likely to be used in their commercial EVs, which, again, don’t exist on the road yet. Promotional materials from Watergen suggest that, in ideal conditions, their device can generate up to five liters of drinking water per day by drawing water vapor out of the air. Sounds awesome for camping, or if you live in Jackson, MS right now, or if you’re in a drought-stricken region. All compelling use cases—but it’s probably safe to label Mullen CEO David Michery’s calling the tech “game-changing” as hyperbolic.

    Mullen’s acquisition of Bollinger is also a head scratcher. Bollinger has been around since 2015, and has pivoted between commercial EVs and rugged SUVs. The company was in dire financial straits–even refunding pre-orders for its B1 and B2 SUVs–before the $148.2 million dollar infusion from Mullen. The money, according to Mullen, will be used to revive the company’s commercial EV program, in a move that Michery said could allow the company to “dominate the entire class 1-6 commercial light and medium duty truck segments.” It’s quite a gambit. It could work, but the trouble is Mullen is already late to the market. Canoo, Rivian, Xos, and myriad legacy automakers like Mercedes are years ahead and have vehicles on the road.

    None of this news helped to revive Mullen’s embattled stock either. Investor sentiment was highly bearish all last week and the market’s continued skepticism now has the company facing delisting. Under NYSE rules, a company’s stock must trade above $1/share. If a company trades below that mark for 30 consecutive days, the NYSE issues a warning. The company then has 180 days to raise its stock price above $1 for ten consecutive days or it gets delisted. Mullen has until March 6, 2023 to hit that mark, though extensions are possible. The last time Mullen’s stock closed above $1 for 10 days in a row was July 15 to July 25, 2022. Since dropping below $1 on July 26th, the stock has not closed north of $0.92. It is currently trading at $0.57 a share.

      dot.LA reached out to Mullen numerous times for comment on these developments, but Mullen representatives either rescheduled or failed to attend any calls and did not answer questions over email by press time.

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