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 Nasdaq rules, a company’s stock must trade above $1/share. If a company trades below that mark for 30 consecutive days, the Nasdaq 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.

      🤫 The Secret to Staying Fit at Your Desk: 6 Essential Under-Desk Exercise Machines

      Health experts are sounding the alarm: our sedentary jobs are slowly killing us, yet we can't abandon our desks if we want to keep the lights on. It feels like we're caught between a rock and a hard place. Enter under-desk exercise machines – the overlooked heroes (albeit kind of goofy looking) of the modern workspace. These devices let tech professionals stay active, enhance their health, and increase their productivity, all without stepping away from their screens. Here are 6 fantastic options that will enhance the way you work and workout simultaneously.

      DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser

      This bike has nearly ten thousand five-star reviews on amazon. It works with nearly any desk/chair setup. It is quiet, sturdy and allows up to 40 pounds of resistance. If you are looking for an under-desk bike this is a fantastic option.

      Type: Under-Desk Bike

      Price: $180 - $200

      Sunny Health & Fitness Dual Function Under Desk Pedal Exerciser

      This under-desk bike is extremely quiet due to the magnetic resistance making it an ideal option if you work in a shared space. It doesn’t slip, has eight levels of resistance, and the option to work legs and arms. It’s about half the price of the DeskCycle bike making it a solid mid-range option for those looking to increase their daily activity.

      Type: Under-Desk Bike

      Price: $100 - $110

      Sunny Health & Fitness Sitting Under Desk Elliptical

      This under-desk elliptical comes in multiple colors if you really want to underscore that you are a quirky individual, in case an under-desk elliptical isn’t enough. This model is a bit heavy (very sturdy), has eight different resistance levels, and has more than nine thousand 5-star reviews.

      Type: Under-Desk Elliptical

      Price: $120 - $230

      DeskCycle Ellipse Leg Exerciser

      This under-desk elliptical is another great option. It is a bit pricey but it’s quiet, well-made and has eight resistance levels. It also syncs with your apple watch or fitbit which is a very large perk for those office-wide “step” challenges. Get ready to win.

      Type: Under-Desk Elliptical

      Price: $220 - $230

      Daeyegim Quiet LED Remote Treadmill

      If you have a standing desk and are looking to walk and work this is a fantastic option. This walking-only treadmill allows you to walk between 0.5 to 5 mph (or jog unless you have the stride length of an NBA forward). It is very quiet, which is perfect if you want to use it near others or during a meeting. You can’t change the incline or fold it in half but it is great for simply getting in some extra steps during the work day.

      Type: Under-Desk Treadmill

      Price: $220 - $230

      Sunny Health & Fitness Foldable Manual Treadmill

      This under-desk treadmill isn’t the most premium model but it is affordable and has an impressive array of features. It is a manual treadmill meaning it doesn’t need to be plugged in; it is foldable and offers an incline up to 13%. I personally can’t imagine working and walking up a 13% incline but if that sounds like your cup of tea, then I truly respect the hustle.

      Type: Under-Desk Treadmill

      Price: $150 - $200

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      🤠Musk Picks Texas and 🔥Tinder AI Picks Your Profile Pictures

      🔦 Spotlight

      Tinder is altering dating profile creation with its new AI-powered Photo Selector feature, designed to help users choose their most appealing dating profile pictures. This innovative tool employs facial recognition technology to curate a set of up to 10 photos from the user's device, streamlining the often time-consuming process of profile setup. To use the feature, users simply take a selfie within the Tinder app and grant access to their camera roll. The AI then analyzes the photos based on factors like lighting and composition, drawing from Tinder's research on what makes an effective profile picture.

      The selection process occurs entirely on the user's device, ensuring privacy and data security. Tinder doesn't collect or store any biometric data or photos beyond those chosen for the profile, and the facial recognition data is deleted once the user exits the feature. This new tool addresses a common pain point for users, as Tinder's research shows that young singles typically spend about 25 to 33 minutes selecting a profile picture. By automating this process, Tinder aims to reduce profile creation time and allow users to focus more on making meaningful connections.

      In wholly unrelated news, Elon Musk has announced plans to relocate the headquarters of X (formerly Twitter) and SpaceX from California to Texas. SpaceX will move from Hawthorne to Starbase, while X will shift from San Francisco to Austin. Musk cited concerns about aggressive drug users near X's current headquarters and a new California law regarding gender identity notification in schools as reasons for the move. This decision follows Musk's previous relocation of Tesla's headquarters to Texas in 2021.

      🤝 Venture Deals

      LA Companies

      LA Venture Funds

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      • Penguin Random House agreed to acquire comic book publisher Boom! Studios from backers like Walt Disney Co. - learn more

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      Top LA Accelerators that Entrepreneurs Should Know About

      Los Angeles, has a thriving startup ecosystem with numerous accelerators, incubators, and programs designed to support and nurture new businesses. These programs provide a range of services, including funding, mentorship, workspace, networking opportunities, and strategic guidance to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas and scale their companies.

      Techstars Los Angeles

      Techstars is a global outfit with a chapter in Los Angeles that opened in 2017. It prioritizes local companies but will fund some firms based outside of LA.

      Location: Culver City

      Type of Funding: Pre-seed, early stage

      Focus: Industry Agnostic

      Notable Past Companies: StokedPlastic, Zeno Power


      Grid110 offers no-cost, no-equity programs for entrepreneurs in Los Angeles, including a 12-week Residency accelerator for early-stage startups, an Idea to Launch Bootcamp for pre-launch entrepreneurs, and specialized programs like the PledgeLA Founders Fund and Friends & Family program, all aimed at providing essential skills, resources, and support to help founders develop and grow their businesses.

      Location: DTLA

      Type of Funding: Seed, early stage

      Focus: Industry Agnostic

      Notable Past Companies: Casetify, Flavors From Afar


      Idealab is a renowned startup studio and incubator based in Pasadena, California. Founded in 1996 by entrepreneur Bill Gross, Idealab has a long history of nurturing innovative technology companies, with over 150 startups launched and 45 successful IPOs and acquisitions, including notable successes like Coinbase and Tenor.

      Location: Pasadena

      Type of Funding: Stage agnostic

      Focus: Industry Agnostic, AI/Robotics, Consumer, Clean Energy

      Notable Past Companies: Lumin, Coinbase, Tenor

      Plug In South LA

      Plug In South LA is a tech accelerator program focused on supporting and empowering Black and Latinx entrepreneurs in the Los Angeles area. The 12-week intensive program provides early-stage founders with mentorship, workshops, strategic guidance, potential pilot partnerships, grant funding, and networking opportunities to help them scale their businesses and secure investment.

      Location: Los Angeles

      Type of Funding: Pre-seed, seed

      Focus: Industry Agnostic, Connection to South LA and related communities

      Notable Past Companies: ChargerHelp, Peadbo

      Cedars-Sinai Accelerator

      The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator is a three-month program based in Los Angeles that provides healthcare startups with $100,000 in funding, mentorship from over 300 leading clinicians and executives, and access to Cedars-Sinai's clinical expertise and resources. The program aims to transform healthcare quality, efficiency, and care delivery by helping entrepreneurs bring their innovative technology products to market, offering participants dedicated office space, exposure to a broad network of healthcare entrepreneurs and investors, and the opportunity to pitch their companies at a Demo Day.

      Location: West Hollywood

      Type of Funding: Seed, early stage, convertible note

      Focus: Healthcare, Device, Life Sciences

      Notable Past Companies: Regard, Hawthorne Effect

      MedTech Innovator

      MedTech Innovator is the world's largest accelerator for medical technology companies, based in Los Angeles, offering a four-month program that provides selected startups with unparalleled access to industry leaders, investors, and resources without taking equity. The accelerator culminates in showcase events and competitions where participating companies can win substantial non-dilutive funding, with the program having a strong track record of helping startups secure FDA approvals and significant follow-on funding.

      Location: Westwood

      Type of Funding: Seed, early stage

      Focus: Health Care, Health Diagnostics, Medical Device

      Notable Past Companies: Zeto, Genetesis


      The KidsX Accelerator in Los Angeles is a 10-week program that supports early-stage digital health companies focused on pediatric care, providing mentorship, resources, and access to a network of children's hospitals to help startups validate product-market fit and scale their solutions. The accelerator uses a reverse pitch model, where participating hospitals identify focus areas and work closely with selected startups to develop and pilot digital health solutions that address specific pediatric needs.

      Location: East Hollywood

      Type of Funding: Pre-seed, seed, early stage

      Focus: Pediatric Health Care Innovation

      Notable Past Companies: Smileyscope, Zocalo Health

      Disney Accelerator

      Disney Accelerator is a startup accelerator that provides early-stage companies in the consumer media, entertainment and technology sectors with mentorship, guidance, and investment from Disney executives. The program, now in its 10th year, aims to foster collaborations and partnerships between innovative technology companies and The Walt Disney Company to help them accelerate their growth and bring new experiences to Disney audiences.

      Location: Burbank

      Type of Funding: Growth stage

      Focus: Technology and entertainment

      Notable Past Companies: Epic Games, BRIT + CO, CAMP

      Techstars Space Accelerator

      Techstars Space Accelerator is a startup accelerator program focused on advancing the next generation of space technology companies. The three-month mentorship-driven program brings together founders from across the globe to work on big ideas in aerospace, including rapid launch services, precision-based imaging, operating systems for complex robotics, in-space servicing, and thermal protection.

      Location: Los Angeles

      Type of Funding: Growth stage

      Focus: Aerospace

      Notable Past Companies: Pixxel, Morpheus Space

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