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Supply Chain News: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck Maker Nikola's Stock Surges on Wall Street Debut


Merger with Shell Company Takes It Public Overnight, Jumps 104% with News Soon Takin PreOrders

June 10, 2020
SCDigest Editorial Staff

Nikola, a future maker of hydrogen fuel cell trucks, made its Wall Street debut last week after a merger made it a public company, and investors really liked what they saw.

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Nikola already has announced major pre-sales to some large companies, including an 800-truck order from Anheuser-Busch.

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The company, interestingly, shares its name lineage with rival electric car and truck maker Tesla, both named for legendary Polish inventor Nikola Tesla.

On June 3, Nikola completed a merger with an already public shell company named VectoIQ, now changing the name of the new public to its own, trading under the symbol NKLA.

The stock did not move much for a few days, but on Monday it soared 104%. The stock was up another 9% Tuesday. That sent its market value to more than $28 billion – not bad for a company with only about 250 employees.

Nikola plans to make a series of alternative fuel vehicles, from Class 8 heavy duty trucks to a consumer pick-up model.

The stock spiked higher Monday after Nikola founder Trevor Milton tweeted that reservations for Nikola's zero-emission pick-up truck, dubbed the Badger, would kick off later this month. Milton also said he had his sights set on overtaking Ford's best-selling F-150 pick-up truck.

On the freight side, Milton originally intended to make all-electric trucks, but later came to believe battery-only trucks would not be able to meet commercial demands for range and power on heavy duty trucks, and switched to a different approach in which a hydrogen fuel cell would charge a battery that actually powers the truck. The technology is increasingly popular for use in fork trucks used in manufacturing and distribution centers.

The company earlier this year said the Badger pick-up will be available as a battery electric or fuel cell vehicle.

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The company said last week that preorders for its vehicles topped $10 billion and it expects to start generating revenue in 2021.

That revenue stream will start with the rollout of its Nikola Tre Class 8 BEV model, followed by the Nikola Two CLASS 8 FCEV unit, beginning in 2023. The company also plans to build out hydrogen fueling stations that will serve its customers' fleets.

Nikola already has announced major pre-sales to some large companies, including an 800-truck order from Anheuser-Busch and a multimillion dollar order with carrier US Xpress Enterprises.

But the company doesn't even have a factory yet. Nikola is building a plant in Coolidge, AZ, not far from its Phoenix headquarters. The site has been cleared and construction will begin in 2020, Milton told TechCrunch in a recent interview, adding that he hoped for it to start this summer.

But that is for freight trucks. Nikola doesn't plan to produce the Badger on its own. Instead, it intends to partner with an OEM, which Milton said will be revealed later this year.

Any reaction to the Nikola stock leap? Is it worth that kind of valution? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.




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