The company didn’t generate any revenue in 2021, but it managed to make its way through a challenging stretch that included an SEC investigation that was launched by a former executive chair. Now, it is moving forward to begin making battery-powered semi trucks and is getting ready to build a large-scale hydrogen fuel plant for trucks powered by H2.
Last week, the company reported that it lost $690.4 million last year as it dumped cash into its Coolidge, Arizona factory as well as a truck assembly line located in Ulm, Germany at a partner, IVECO’s, plant.
The Tre BEV battery electric semi truck production will begin near the end of this month. Nikola is aiming to produce up to 500 of the vehicles this year. This will be dependent on its ability to obtain adequate components including lithium-ion cells. The company will also start producing longer-range hydrogen trucks starting next year.
That said, it is coming up with plans for building a hydrogen fuel plant to serve those trucks.
“If people think that we’re not able to build a truck, they’ll be disappointed,” said Mark Russel, Nikola CEO, in a recent Forbes report. Fleet operators have been expressing an increasing interest in the battery-electric vehicles. This includes from the company’s TTSI customer, which started testing the vehicles in late 2021 the port of Los Angeles. Same goes for Anheuser-Busch, the company’s largest potential customer, which started delivering beer in Los Angeles last month with two prototype Tre FCEV H2-powered trucks.
“So far, our customers love these trucks. TTSI is running them farther than they’ve ever run an electric truck before–and they test every truck they can get their hands on. And the fuel cell trucks we have with AB are hauling beer every day,” said Russel in the report about the zero-emission vehicles and the hydrogen fuel plant plans. “Everything in our business model that we said we could do, so far we’re doing it. As we continue to do what we said we were going to do, then the question becomes how fast can we scale it? And how fast can we drive the cost down?”