Mullen Motor Company claims that its four-door electric commuter, the 2015 700e, is “all-new," and it even went so far as to present it as such at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. However, don’t be deceived; the 700e platform is ancient. The chassis is based on the Mitsubishi Lancer from the late 90s, while the body is a knockoff of the Chinese Hafei Saibo sedan. It’s virtually unchanged from the Miles XS 200 that debuted at the very same event a full seven years prior. The one claim to originality Mullen has over the XS 200 is a new battery, which significantly extends the range per charge to an amazing 180 miles. That’s quite a hefty amount of range, and it’s certainly something Mullen should be proud of. In fact, it’s probably the best range you’ll get in this class. But the question remains: can the 700e leverage that advantage to overcome a glut of shortcomings?
After debuting in 2007 with the promise of providing a cheap, plug-in commuter to the American masses, the 700e’s identical twin, the XS 200, was met with a variety of setbacks and delays, eventually getting renamed the Coda electric car. The Coda finally made it to production in 2012, but by that time, the market had overtaken it, and the 88-mile range, $40,000 asking price, and poor crash ratings didn’t exactly combine for an enticing package when compared to EV products coming from the major automakers. Coda tried cutting staff and reduced the sedan’s price, but to no avail. In 2013, the company filed for Chapter 11.
Swooping in to buy up the remaining Codas and slap on new badges, we have Mullen Motor Company. This tiny California-based carmaker has made a name for itself offering vehicles like the hand-fashioned Mullen GT, a six-figure hybrid sports car. Now, Mullen will attempt to round out its lineup with the 700e, a sedan that seems destined to a life of rejection and lost opportunities. A new battery is nice, but in the age of the Leaf and Tesla Model S, actually selling this thing isn’t getting any easier.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mullen 700e.