New Mississippi factory produces its first electric-powered truck

Published 5:20 am Monday, August 28, 2023

A new electric car factory in northwest Mississippi has produced its first vehicle, and California-based Mullen Automotive is celebrating the fresh investment in the Mid-South’s growing EV industry.

Mullen’s plant employs 61 people in Tunica — a community mainly known for agriculture and casino gambling — who are primarily making a Class 3 commercial truck, the Mullen 3, which was introduced on Thursday in an event at the plant for local officials and media, the Commercial Appeal reported.

The EV truck can haul up to 11,000 pounds with a range of about 130 miles, and is designed for maneuverability on narrow city streets, according to the company.

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John Schwegman, Mullen Automotive’s chief commercial officer, praised the convenient location about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Memphis, Tennessee, which he said helps with receiving supplies and shipping vehicles around the U.S.

“Being part of the Greater Memphis area and Tunica, in particular, has been a great fit for Mullen,” Schwegman said in an interview.
Other EV-related manufacturing in the Memphis area includes Ford’s joint venture with battery partner SK On of South Korea. Ford has said its assembly plant and battery plant in rural Stanton, Tennessee, will employ about 6,000 people with an investment of roughly $5.6 billion. Ford plans to start production by 2025. The plant will focus more on consumer vehicles.

Mullen, founded in 2014, plans to expand to more than 100 employees in Tunica by the end of the year to help launch its second commercial electric vehicle, a smaller van. The company did not say how much money it invested in the Tunica plant.

The automaker purchased the Tunica factory in 2021. It had been vacant since another electric car manufacturer closed its factory in 2017. Mullen has facilities in California, Mississippi, Michigan and Indiana, with more than 200 employees.