Just in time for summer, one electric vehicle manufacturer is making waves in the commercial vehicle segment. The company, Mullen Automotive, launched its new electric vehicles, the Mullen ONE, Mullen Campus, and Mullen THREE, at Work Truck Week 2023. We chatted with Paul Loewer, Mullen’s director of product planning and marketing, to learn more about the company and find out what’s in store for the future.
MWS: CAN YOU GIVE A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF MULLEN AUTOMOTIVE AND HOW IT GOT ITS START?
Loewer: In 2014, Mullen Automotive set out to create clean and scalable electric vehicles and energy solutions. Recognizing the impacts of global fossil fuel dependence, founder and CEO David Michery launched with the intent to accelerate electrification and adoption of electric vehicles. We’ve developed a complementary portfolio of products including a variety of both commercial and retail vehicles.
MWS: WITH THE AMOUNT OF EV STARTUPS POPPING UP EVERY DAY IT SEEMS, WHAT SETS MULLEN AUTOMOTIVE APART FROM THE REST?
Loewer: Mullen Automotive is strategically aligned to provide our customers with products that are both new and familiar, with similar utilitarian layouts and designs that fleets are akin to. Upfitting our vehicles will prove simple. On the other hand, our vehicles have greater capacities and include advanced technologies that increase cost savings and lower emissions for fleets. Our advanced in-house telematics provide fleet managers and drivers with important information about performance, vehicle health, and location information to maximize uptime and increase revenue. Further, our vehicles are available this year with commercial production commencing in July 2023. Mullen is here and now.
MWS: HOW MANY PRODUCTS DOES MULLEN AUTOMOTIVE OFFER?
Loewer: Mullen Automotive makes clean-energy alternatives that are efficient, economical, and most importantly, easy. Today, Mullen works diligently to provide exciting electric vehicle options in both the commercial and retail environments. Our vehicle portfolio includes the Mullen FIVE, MullenGT, Mullen ONE, Mullen THREE, Mullen CAMPUS, and Mullen-GO. By investing in a complimentary retail and commercial brand, Bollinger Motors, our vehicle line expands to include the B1, B2, B4, B5, and B6.
MWS: CAN YOU SHARE A BIT ABOUT THE MULLEN ONE? HOW IS IT ANTICIPATED TO BE THE FIRST OF ITS KIND IN THE US MARKET?
Loewer: The Mullen ONE is an all-electric Class 1 cargo van, anticipated to be the first of its kind in the US market. This van was designed to navigate within narrow urban streets and residential roads, all while maximizing payload and cargo space. The Mullen ONE’s height is less than 6.5 ft, meaning your driver can park the vehicle in a residential garage.
As all OEMs have exited the small van space, we see that the market requires commercial vehicles of all sizes. The Mullen ONE fills the gap with a smaller commercial vehicle for fleets and provides an all-electric option as well. As states enact further regulations on vehicle sales, all-electric vehicles like the Mullen ONE will be crucial for small and large fleets alike.
Production of the Mullen ONE is anticipated to begin in 2023 with product availability immediately following. Fleets interested in the Mullen ONE may request a demo or pilot at www.mullencommercial.com.
MWS: MULLEN AUTOMOTIVE’S CLASS 3 VEHICLE, THE MULLEN THREE, WAS DESIGNED AS A LOW CAB FORWARD. WHY DID MULLEN’S ENGINEERS DECIDE ON THIS DESIGN, AND HOW WILL THE MULLEN THREE BENEFIT FLEETS?
Loewer: The efficient Class 3 low cab forward features a tight turning diameter of 38 ft and excellent visibility for superior maneuverability on narrow city streets. Even in reverse, maneuverability is a breeze with our standard backup camera and 7-inch display screen. This versatile chassis provides a clean top-of-rail for easy upfitting with bodies up to 14-ft long and over 5,800 lbs of payload. In addition, the design of the low cab forward chassis allows more cargo length within a given overall length.
Production of the Mullen THREE is anticipated to begin in July 2023 with product availability immediately following. Fleets interested in the Mullen THREE may request a demo or pilot at www.mullencommercial.com.
MWS: HAS EITHER VEHICLE BEEN USED OUT IN THE FIELD? IF SO, WHAT HAS BEEN THE RESPONSE?
Loewer: As we prepare our vehicles for production, we have had interest from companies in a variety of industries from leasing companies to airports, grocery stores to utility services, body upfitters to last-mile delivery services, and more. To date, we’ve entered into pilot agreements with multiple organizations; delivered vehicles to MGT Lease Company and the University of North Carolina Charlotte; and signed sales agreements with Randy Marion Automotive Group for 6,000 Mullen ONE cargo vans and 1,000 Mullen THREE low cab forwards.
In regard to pilot programs, we have finished a successful pilot with Menzies Aviation, the world’s largest aviation services company, and have two further airport pilots ongoing. Our pilot programs have generated many positive reports including increased uptime, lower total cost of ownership, emissions reduction, positive vehicle use rates, and minimal maintenance.
Mullen recently announced pricing for the Mullen ONE and Mullen THREE at $34,500 and $68,500 respectively. Our competitive prices paired with available state and local incentives, the $7,500 Federal Tax Incentive and other incentives like California’s Hybrid and Zero Emission Vehicle Incentive Program’s (HVIP) Class 3 $45,000 discount, makes our vehicles perfect for organizations looking to reduce emissions and increase cost savings.
Mullen also completed our first commercial ride and drive event at Government Fleet Expo (GFX) in Dallas, Texas, in May 2023. Feedback from participants at GFX was all positive including mentions of innovation, comfortability, style, maneuverability, low road noise, and applicability. Companies interested in test driving or piloting our vehicles can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Randy Marion Automotive Group in Mooresville, North Carolina.
MWS: ARE THERE ANY INTEGRATIONS OR PARTNERSHIPS MULLEN AUTOMOTIVE HAS BEEN PART OF THAT OUR READERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?
Loewer: Mullen was founded on the formation of mergers and acquisitions. In 2022, we furthered our efforts by investing in a complimentary commercial brand, Bollinger Motors, and acquiring the assets of Electric Last Mile Solutions (ELMS). Through these endeavors, Mullen has expanded into additional retail lines and dove into the commercial space covering Classes 1 through 6.
Mullen Commercial has also teamed up with Loop Global to provide a complete EV ecosystem with a range of readily available charging infrastructure solutions and Loops’ EVFaaS, an electric-vehicle-as-a-service program.
Additionally, Mullen is launching a new telematics system, Commercial Pulse. Commercial Pulse provides managers and drivers a connected fleet of vehicles with maintenance alerts, real-time vehicle location, driver safety, battery state of charge, metrics, and more. Commercial Pulse is currently available for the Mullen ONE, all-electric Class 1 Cargo Van, and Mullen THREE, all-electric Class 3 Low Cab Forward. Commercial Pulse can be added to the Mullen CAMPUS all-electric Campus Cargo Van vehicles for an additional installation fee. Access to Commercial Pulse is subject to vehicle purchase and eligible subscription.
MWS: WHAT’S AHEAD FOR MULLEN AUTOMOTIVE?
Loewer: As we ramp up to begin commercial production, we are finalizing testing including environmental protection agency (EPA) testing and impact testing. We are also working with many organizations to launch additional test drives and pilot programs. Mullen Commercial will also be at a series of tradeshows and events including:
- September 18-20 – Work Truck Exchange
- September 26-28 – The Utility Expo
- October 3-4 – NTEA’s Commercial Vehicle Upfitting Summit
- October 17-18 – DeliveryCon
- November 8-10 – Fleet Forward & Fleet Safety Conference
We recently announced Amerit Fleet Solutions as the provider for national service and warranty work, supporting Mullen’s commercial vehicle lineup, including the Mullen CAMPUS EV Cargo Van, the Mullen ONE Class 1 EV Van, and the Mullen THREE Class 3 EV Cab Chassis Truck programs.
Mullen is enhancing our commercial manufacturing facility in Tunica, Mississippi. Our manufacturing group has partnered with NRTC Automation out of Birmingham, Alabama, for Class 3 assembly line installation and integration, which includes all robotics and automation systems for vehicle production. We’re also hiring and training manufacturing staff and preparing for a plant expansion project.
As we target our next milestones, Mullen plans to develop variants of our current portfolio and expand product lines.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Paul Loewer is the director of product planning and marketing for Mullen Automotive. Prior to joining Mullen in 2022, Loewer worked at General Motors on the Fleet and Commercial side of the business. Loewer has spent most of his career on product and partnership development. Find out more, visit www.mullenusa.com.