Another EV Startup Goes Public - Mullen Meets Net Element

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Electric-vehicle startups seem to be everywhere these days. And more than a few have used a “reverse merger” with an established company that’s already listed on Nasdaq as a way to go public.

Lordstown Motors, Fisker, and Canoo have announced deals like this, and Nikola has already done this type of deal.

In this case, Mullen Technologies, which is based in Southern California, will pair with Net Element, a company that works on mobile payment tech.

Funding from the agreement will be used by Mullen to build and sell EVs in the U.S. The first models the company plans to build are the MX-05, an SUV/crossover, and a sports car called the Dragonfly K50.

Originally shown as the Qiantu K50 by a Chinese design firm named CH-Auto Technology, the Qiantu/Dragonfly K50 is already available for purchase in China.

The car isn’t cheap: It has a $124,999 price tag. That gets you a range over 200 miles, and a dual-motor setup that makes up to 375 horsepower. Aluminum and carbon fiber are key components for construction.

As for the MX-05, no specs have been released, but pricing has been announced at $55,000.

You can make a reservation for either vehicle now, but neither has been certified for sale in America. This means it could be quite some time before you see your car, if ever.

The company does claim that it could deliver vehicles by the second quarter of 2022, if it succeeds in converting its research and development center in Monrovia, California, into a plant. It will attempt to build its first MX-05 units there in 2021 so that the company can get them certified for sale.

Construction on the plant is scheduled to be finished by April, with the first prototypes rolling off the line in July. Mullen expects homologation to take 16 months, with May 2022 being the target date for the first production units for delivery.

As for the Dragonfly, Mullen hasn’t given a date for production. The company had previously said it planned to build the car in Spokane County, Washington, but recent statements suggest it will be imported from China.

Two other models, dubbed MX-03 and MX-07, are planned. Details are scarce, but based on the nomenclature, they are likely SUVs that will be smaller and larger, respectively, than the MX-05.

The introduction of those models may be contingent on the MX-05 and Dragonfly being successful.

[Image: Mullen]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • HotPotato HotPotato on Sep 26, 2020

    Five years ago, Westerners were outraged that Chinese companies were building copies of our cars. Now we're fixing to build copies of theirs. Maybe we, too, should be looking toward the future, not trying to go back to the past.

  • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Sep 28, 2020

    200 mile range and $375hp for six figures? I think not.

  • Ronin The very asking of the question "Are Plug-In Hybrids the Future?" is an interesting one. Because just 2 or 3 years ago we'd be asking- no, asserting- that E cars are the future. We're no longer asking that question.
  • Peter Benn There apparently were some K-code 4-dr sedan Fairlanes. Collectible Automobile Apr 2024 has found a '63 500 with HD 3/spd.
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  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.