There's a new automotive startup in California that's set to take on Tesla and established automakers in the mainstream electric-vehicle segment.

The startup is Mullen Technologies, which presented the Five crossover at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday and has started accepting orders. The company expects to start deliveries around mid-2024.

Mullen has largely flown under the radar but has already achieved some key milestones including going public last year via a SPAC deal with Nasdaq-listed Net Element, and completing the acquisition of a plant in Robinsonville, Mississippi, earlier in November.

Mullen plans to build the Five at the plant, together with a pair of commercial vans.

The Five, previously known as the MX-05, is a small crossover targeting vehicles like the Tesla Model Y and Volkswagen ID.4. It is based on a modular EV platform and in standard guise will offer a 95-kilowatt-hour battery good for a claimed 325 miles of range. The base model is also claimed to pack enough grunt for a 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.

Mullen Five

Mullen Five

More powerful options are planned, including a Five RS model claimed to be capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in just 1.9 seconds and reaching a top speed of more than 200 mph. In other words, Tesla Model S Plaid performance.

Mullen said pricing will start at about $55,000. The company is also looking at offering lease deals.

Mullen has also previously shown a sports car called the Dragonfly K50, though timing for this model is unclear. Mullen in 2019 said the sports car would be built at a plant to be constructed in Spokane County, Washington, but in a more recent statement the company said the car would be imported, presumably from China where it is already on sale as the Qiantu K50.

Should all go to plan, Mullen plans to introduce two more models. These are likely to be crossovers positioned in the compact and mid-size segments.

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