Electric Car Manufacturer Wants Tax Break to Set Up Shop in Memphis



A California-based electric car manufacturer has applied for a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) incentive to operate a facility in Memphis.

Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County officials are scheduled to vote on the tax break Wednesday, said EDGE spokesman Charles Vance.

Vance supplied documents that say that officials with Mullen Technologies want to invest $362 million in the city to create 434 jobs with an average wage of $53,109. The PILOT incentive would last for 15 years, according to the documents.

If EDGE board members go along, Mullen officials would manufacture an electric vehicle at an abandoned 817,000 square foot assembly plant, which the Nike company previously occupied. Mullen would then sell these vehicles to customers at costs ranging between $58,500 to $78,500 per vehicle, according to the documents.

“Mullen has been evaluating other locations for its assembly plant in their home state of California, as well as pursuing a new construction project in Spokane, Washington,” according to Mullen’s PILOT application.

“The Memphis area, however, provides distinct advantages over other opportunities. The Memphis option does not require a time-consuming new building design, financing and construction process.”

Mullen Technologies officials did not return The Tennessee Star’s request for comment Monday.

As The Star reported in 2018, EDGE is an unelected board of 11 people who have enough power to grant millions of dollars in tax abatements to corporations.

As reported in 2019,  EDGE bestowed a generous amount of corporate welfare upon AutoZone and $9.5 million in tax incentives to bring IKEA to Memphis. As later reported, IKEA informed city officials they could not do what they promised in exchange for that money. IKEA officials gave up some of their previously approved 11-year tax abatement.

IKEA did not hire the number of jobs or pay the level of wages it promised city and county officials in exchange for lesser property tax payments, the website went on to say.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Mullen Technologies Dragonfly K50” by Mullen Technologies.






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2 Thoughts to “Electric Car Manufacturer Wants Tax Break to Set Up Shop in Memphis”

  1. No more tax breaks for anyone. You want to move your biz here, knowing what a great benefit it will be for your company, that should be good enough. No company hires locally, exclusively. Many more people will come from outside the state, further burdening the schools and infrastructure. The taxpayers are on the hook for that. That nonsense has to stop.

  2. But, but , but…Tennesseans would like a tax break too! It will cost us $7 to $10 thuosand dollars in sales taxes/registration fees to buy one of their vehicles! Remember when they said the ONE CENT SALES TAX was going to be temporary, or the THREE CENTS sales tax?.
    Remember Alexander raised our Sales Taxes and Fuel Taxes three times for what. Developers and subsidies to everyone from Timber companies in State Forest now under and manged by Dept of Agriculture for them,every Sub Division and other Developer who wants/needs an exit ramp, an access street, and Billionaire Owned Sports Teams Arenas, and the now expected bribes for Facebook, for any Company wanting to take advantage of cheap Tennessean Hick labor as advertised by Haslam.
    What do we get out it beans and taters instead of hamburger and especially not steak.We go to the store and spend now a hundred dollars a week fora few groceries we have to put back ten dollars of groceries and give the ten dollars to Sales Taxes to State and County and City..for Developers and now huge salaries of Officials.
    Making the Billionaire Business Owners, Developers and Government Officials even wealthier. Now that s rational and for the People?