Electric Semi Start-Up Nikola Says It Has Moved On From Founder’s Woes

Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA), an embattled electric semi-truck start-up, revealed a larger-than-expected loss for the second quarter today. However, the company stated that it has moved on from the problems surrounding its recently indicted founder, Trevor Milton, and that it expects to begin delivering its first trucks to actual paying clients by early next year, if not sooner.

Nikola reported a loss of $143.2 million, or $0.36 per share, as it increased spending on testing and production tooling for its forthcoming trucks. That loss was larger than anticipated. Thomson Reuters polled Wall Street analysts, who predicted a loss of $0.29 per share on revenue of around $20,000. Nikola did not generate any revenue in the second quarter.

Nikola also updated investors on its attempts to deliver on its business plan and provided expanded projections for the whole year.

Since Milton’s departure last year, Nikola has made great progress. Nikola wants to produce its first truck, the Tre, in both battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell versions. This will be followed by the Duo, a heavier-duty variant. Meanwhile, the business has started work on establishing a network of hydrogen filling stations to serve the fuel cell trucks.

Nikola’s semis will be built on chassis supplied by CNH Industrial (NYSE:CNHI), the manufacturer of Iveco brand heavy trucks, and will use General Motors (NYSE:GM) batteries and fuel cells. The trucks will be constructed in two factories: one owned by Nikola in Coolidge, Arizona, which is now under construction, and another owned by CNH in Ulm, Germany.

Nikola said it finished its first “alpha” batch of five battery-electric Tres at its Ulm plant in the second quarter and has been testing their durability at numerous locations in the United States. A second “beta” batch of nine trucks, built in Ulm and integrating lessons learned from the alpha tests, has arrived in Arizona and will be deployed for more testing in the coming weeks.

Separately, Nikola’s Coolidge plant is still under construction, but enough of it has been constructed to begin prototype builds of seven Tre vehicles. These vehicles will also be used for durability testing (two with battery-electric drivetrains and five with fuel cells). Nikola anticipates that the Coolidge plant will be able to produce around 2,400 vehicles per year by the end of 2021, and approximately 20,000 trucks by the end of 2023, following a series of planned expansions.

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.