EV startup Bollinger acquired by Mullen Automotive for $148.2 million

Mullen Automotive has acquired a majority stake in electric vehicle startup Bollinger Motors, buying back 60% of the struggling company’s shares for $148.2 million, the companies announced Thursday.

Mullen said he would add Bollinger-designed medium-duty trucks and sport-utility trucks to his inventory. The deal “positions Bollinger to capture the electric sport utility vehicle and utility vehicle markets,” the company added.

Mullen is a relatively unknown electric vehicle manufacturer in Southern California whose stated goal is to build “the next generation of affordable, all-American built premium electric vehicles.”

Bollinger burst onto the scene in 2015 with a pair of very cool, rugged, box-shaped electric truck prototypes. The company has since turned to electric commercial vans after encountering speed bumps in its quest to build a complex vehicle manufacturing business from scratch.

Earlier this year, Bollinger announced it had selected Detroit automotive supplier Roush as the contract manufacturer to assemble its line of electric utility vehicle platforms and chassis cabs. Bollinger’s Deliver-E electric van, which was announced in 2020, is expected to be built on a variable vehicle platform that allows for multiple battery sizes, such as 70 kWh, 105 kWh, 140 kWh, 175 kWh and 210 kWh .

The Bollinger B2 electric truck.
Image: Bollinger

But it was the company’s B1 and B2 electric trucks that first captured people’s imaginations. Those vehicles have been put on hiatus in favor of utility vehicles – but Mullen says with today’s deal, trucks are back.

“With years of Class 3 truck development experience, intellectual property, patents and expertise, [Bollinger’s] decision made sense to pivot to developing utility vehicles for Classes 3-6,” Mullen said in a statement. “As part of the acquisition, the company brings to Mullen almost 50,000 reservations previously taken for the B1 and B2 sport utility vehicles. With the acquisition and capital injection of Mullen, the B1 and B2 programs will begin after production of the Class 3 through 6 commercial truck programs begins.”

While there has been a flurry of acquisitions in recent years of self-driving vehicle startups, there has been less consolidation on the EV side. But experts predict that will soon change, with smaller electric vehicle startups seeking bigger companies for cash injections into their struggling operations.

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