Electric Last Mile Solutions’ shares made their trading debut on the Nasdaq on Monday, adding to a growing list of speculative electric vehicle startups going public through deals with specialized acquisition companies.
The Michigan-based company plans to begin producing a small electric utility vehicle at an Indiana factory this fall, according to ELMS CEO James Taylor. The modernized plant last produced petrol-guzzling Hummer SUVs in the mid-2000s.
The company’s stock – ticker symbol “ELMS” – opened Monday at $ 11.10. They rose as much as 9.8% before losing most of those gains during morning trading. The stock traded about 7% at about 12:40 p.m. ET.
Taylor, a former executive at General Motors, said such price volatility is to be expected until the company can part ways with other EV startups.
“We’ll be in the wind for the next few months, blowing in one direction, another direction until we come up with evidence and tangible evidence of our business plan,” he said Monday afternoon during a phone interview. “Until then, we’ll probably just hop around whatever is going on in the room.”
Taylor said the company differs from other electric vehicle startups because it focuses solely on commercial vehicles. His electric van is also based on a vehicle that is already being produced by Chongqing Sokon Industry Group Stock in China.
The ELMS Urban Delivery, expected to be launched later this year, is expected to be the first commercial Class 1 EV in the US market and will be manufactured at the company’s Mishawaka, Indiana site.
Electric last mile solutions
“We need a lot less capital. We break even earlier and, to be honest, our plan was very, very conservative from day one,” he said in an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Monday . “Our overall risk from an EV perspective is much, much lower than that of the other market participants in this area.”
ELMS voted to go public in December through a reverse merger with blank check company Forum Merger III Corp. , which the EV company valued at $ 1.4 billion.
When the deal was announced, investors were bullish on EV startups like ELMS. That bullish stance turned to skepticism this year, however, after SPAC-backed auto companies like Lordstown Motors and Canoo changed their business plans and ousted top executives in response to inquiries from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. There is also more competition in the EV market from established automakers like GM and Ford Motor.
Taylor said ELMS was “delighted” to have received his money and closed the deal instead of trying now.
“I’m glad we’re not starting a SPAC today,” he said. “No question about it, there were some challenges in some SPACs.”
The transaction raised gross proceeds of $ 379 million for ELM, including $ 155 million from private investors such as BNP Paribas Asset Management and Jennison Associates.