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EV Startup ELMS Declares Bankruptcy 12 Months After IPO

Tim Stevens Former editor at large for CNET Cars
Tim Stevens got his start writing professionally while still in school in the mid '90s, and since then has covered topics ranging from business process management to video game development to automotive technology.
Tim Stevens
2 min read
ELMS Urban Delivery Van

The end of the road for ELMS.


What's happening

Commercial EV importer and distributor ELMS, under pressure since the resignation of both its CEO and Chairman, has declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Why it matters

A number of EV startups held SPAC IPOs over the past few years, with mixed results. The failure of ELMS may mean more bad news for the rest.

What's next

ELMS has indicated it plans to liquidate, meaning an effective end of the road.

As the valuations of electric vehicle companies such as Tesla went sky high through 2020 and 2021, other EV startups were tripping over each other to follow that path to fortune via special purpose acquisition companies. It seemed like a new automotive SPAC IPO hit the market every week last year, but this week one of them has reached end of the road.

Electric Last Mile Solutions, or ELMS, a Michigan-based EV startup with a focus on commercial vehicles, is entering Chapter 7 bankruptcy with plans to liquidate. This comes just 12 months after its SPAC IPO in June of 2021 and four months after both its CEO and Chairman resigned amid accusations of improper share purchases ahead of that IPO.

ELMS Urban Delivery is all about affordability

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Shauna McIntyre stepped into the CEO role in February, but in a statement says the company is out of time: "Unfortunately, there were too many obstacles for us to overcome in the short amount of time available to us. I could not be prouder of what our team has been able to accomplish under very challenging circumstances."

ELMS Board Chair Brian Krzanich, who you may remember from his days as Intel's CEO, said: "It's extremely frustrating that we must take this route, but it was the only responsible next step for our shareholders, partners, creditors, and employees."

At the most recent CES in January, ELMS gave us a tour of their Urban Delivery van, with a focus on short-distance, downtown deliveries. Things were looking bright then, but the stock price has been on a steady decline since, down to $0.21 in premarket trading from a 52-week high of $12.