Mullen makes deal to bring China’s Qiantu electric roadster to the US

Mullen, a California-based electric vehicle company, announced that it secured a deal to bring the Qiantu electric roadster to the US.

Coda. That’s a name that should ring a bell for those who have been following electric vehicles for a long time.

The company tried to bring an affordable electric vehicle to market using LiFePO batteries during the last decade, but they went bankrupt in 2013 after having delivered only a few vehicles.

Mullen bought their assets, and last year they tried to raise $500 million to bring Coda’s cheap all-electric car back to life.

Things haven’t progressed as much as they wanted, but it looks like they have pivoted to make deals with Chinese companies to bring electric vehicles to the US.

The latest deal was announced last week with China’s Qiantu.

We reported on Qiantu’s all-electric roadster K50 when they unveiled the vehicle in China two years ago and back then, they already had the ambition to bring the vehicle to the US.

Here are some specs that they announced at the time:

“A two-door roadster with an all carbon-fiber body, 0-100 km/h (0-62 mp/h) in 4.6 seconds, two electric motors for a combined 402 bhp and 479 lb ft of torque (650 Nm) and an estimated range of 300 km (~186 miles).”

Now Mullen says that it reached a deal with Qiantu’s parent company, CH-Auto, to “homologate and assemble cars in the US for sales in North America.”

They wrote in a press release:

“In 2020, the Mullen-Qiantu collaboration will launch the Qiantu K50, a 402 bhp all-electric luxury sports car with aluminum frame and carbon fiber body closures. By importing assembly ready components and utilizing American sourced key components, the partnership intended by this cooperation will enable this exciting car to be available to North American consumers at an unexpectedly affordable cost. A limited number of reservations will be accepted by Mullen in 2019.”

Mullen Tech CEO and Chairman David Michery added:

“Mullen is thrilled to embark on this journey together with Qiantu to bring sexy and exciting new options to North American consumers. The 100% electric Qiantu K50 meets exotic automobile criteria without the exotic price tag. I believe that we can grow clean transportation in North America by bringing highly desirable options to market. Mullen Technologies, with its technology, commercial teams and distribution systems in place is geared to accomplish exactly that.”

The company is based in Brea, California, but they haven’t confirmed where the vehicle is going to be assembled.

Electrek’s Take

Well, that’s a big change from the Coda to the Qiantu K50. I think it could work, but it will all depend on the price tag.

At this point, we are getting used to some insane performance specs from electric supercars and the Qiantu K50 specs are simply not at that level.

But Mullen says it will not have an “exotic price tag.” Depending on what that means exactly, I think it could work.

I think there’s a market for exotic looking vehicles that don’t come with insane specs as long as they have a price that reflects that.

If it’s anything more than $80,000, I don’t see it working.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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