EV maker Electric Last Mile to move HQ in suburban Detroit

As electric vehicle maker Electric Last Mile Solutions Inc. prepares to go public through a reverse merger, it will move its headquarters to Troy, Mich., from Auburn Hills., Mich.

Electric Last Mile will occupy 31,000 square feet of space in the building, which includes a 15,000-square-foot prototype lab, the company said in a press release. The company did not immediately respond to emails about the exact location of the building. It’s unclear when the company will move out of its current headquarters at 2851 High Meadow Circle in Auburn Hills.

The company will build initial battery pack and electric motor prototypes as well as complete preproduction vehicles at the location, the company said in the release. Electric Last Mile also plans to open additional offices in California and other locations in proximity to engineering and electrical vehicle development hubs.

In December, Electric Last Mile announced plans to go public through a reverse merger with special-purpose acquistion company Forum Merger III Corp. in a deal that values the startup at $1.4 billion.

The deal provides $379 million in gross proceeds to Electric Last Mile with $155 million coming from private investors BNP Paribas Asset Management Energy Transition Fund and Jennison Associates LLC, the company said in a press release.

The deal for Electric Last Mile is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021 and Electric Mile will be listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker ELMS.

The company plans to launch a small electric delivery van, called the UD-1, in the third quarter this year. The company says it has logged 30,000 preorders for its van, representing more than $1 billion in sales.

Electric Last Mile is expected to manufacture the vans out of a former General Motors Hummer plant in Mishiwaka, Ind., that the company is acquiring from China’s Chongqing Sokon Industry Group Stock Co. Ltd. following completion of the deal, Reuters reported. The plant has capacity to produce 100,000 vehicles annually with plans to build 4,100 UD-1 vans by the end of 2021, Reuters reported. The UD-1 has a starting price of $32,500 and a range of 150 miles before requiring a recharge.

Electric Last Mile was founded by Jason Luo, former CEO of Ford China and Key Safety Systems before it was acquired by China’s Ningbo Joyson Electronic in a $920 million deal in 2016, and James Taylor, former CEO of GM’s Hummer brand and former CEO of electric car maker Karma Automotive.

Taylor will serve as the company’s top executive. Luo is the currently the company’s chairman. It’s unclear whether he’ll retain that role after the deal closes.