Electric Last Mile signs deal with Chinese EV manufacturer

Wuling Motors, founded in 2007, designs and develops engines, front and rear axles, brakes and panels. It has grown into one of China’s largest manufacturers of electric delivery vans and specialty vehicles.

The deal follows several others recently struck by Electric Last Mile after it began trading on the NASDAQ in late June and looks to roll out its first batch of Urban Delivery all-electric cargo vans later this year. It announced in May a deal with Cox Automotive Inc. to supply service and repairs to its fleet and tapped North Carolina-based Randy Marion Automotive Group for distribution.

It also signed contracts with Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) to supply battery packs and Ontario-based Geotab Inc. for advanced telematics.

Production on 45,000 pre-ordered vehicles is expected to start at a former Hummer plant in Indiana in the third quarter, Crain’s Detroit Business reported in May. It is expected to have a range of 150 miles per charge. Crain’s is an affiliate of Automotive News.

The company plans to launch its delivery vans by the end of the third quarter or beginning of the fourth quarter, depending on the results of its crash test scheduled for mid-August, spokesman Erik Grossman said Tuesday. It aims to roll out 4,000 vehicles this year, 19,000 next year and progressively ramp up. The Indiana plant’s capacity is 100,000 units per year.

Electric Last Mile’s management team rang the opening bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square in New York City on Tuesday to celebrate its recently completed public listing.

Electric Last Mile, founded in 2019, joined a growing list of tech and EV companies going public via SPAC (special purpose acquisition corporation) mergers. Electric Last Mile’s vehicle to the public market was Florida-based Forum Merger III Corp. It trades under the ticker ELMS and was trading at $10.25 per share Tuesday afternoon, down from its first-day close of $11.56.

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