Electric truck maker Nikola on path to success, CEO says

PHOENIX — Electric truck manufacturer Nikola Corporation is enjoying success, company CEO Michael Lohscheller said in a recent announcement about Nikola’s financial health.

The company has “turned the corner and is well on the way to executing our business plan and achieving profitability,” he said. “We have nearly doubled our unrestricted cash position while also substantially reducing our spending. We continue to drive forward in our mission to decarbonize heavy-duty trucking and ensure Nikola is successful for the long haul. Our management team is highly focused on delivering trucks to customers at scale and making the most of our first mover advantage in the hydrogen refueling ecosystem.”

A news release noted that during the second quarter, the company “made substantial progress on the realignment of resources with our strategic priorities.”

These included:

Building sales momentum by delivering 45 wholesale and 66 retail battery-electric trucks, the best retail quarter to date.
Increasing unrestricted cash position by $107.1 million while substantially reducing adjusted free cash flow to below the $150 million target for the quarter.
Raising $233.2 million through capital raise and asset monetization and improving visibility into future capital needs to fully fund the company’s business model.
Closing down battery production operations of Romeo Power Inc. and are establishing a battery pack line in Coolidge for battery-electric trucks.
Completing the sale of European joint venture to Iveco.
Making substantial progress in the development of the hydrogen refueling ecosystem with partners.

Hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks

On July 31, Nikola began serial production of its hydrogen fuel cell electric truck.

The first customer deliveries are expected to take place in September, the company said. To date, 18 customers have placed orders for over 200 hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks with Nikola and dealers, During the second quarter, the remainder of the 10 gamma trucks were fully built and commissioned. Gamma trucks will be used in final vehicle validation and customer pilot testing.

Battery-electric trucks

During the second quarter, Nikola continued to build sales momentum on the battery-electric trucks, wholesaling 45 to dealers with 66 retail sales.

“We expect sales momentum to continue building as customers realize the total cost of ownership benefits of zero-emissions trucks and additional government support is introduced to accelerate the transition to zero-emissions,” company executives noted in their news release.

Energy infrastructure

The company says its HYLA team is focused on ensuring there is adequate hydrogen supply to meet truck sales volumes in 2023 and beyond.

“We continue to move the hydrogen refueling ecosystem forward with well capitalized partners that align with our capital-efficient strategy,” the news release stated. “Voltera and Nikola are collaborating on the recently announced partnership, and we have begun the station development process for eight initial stations. Our first station in Ontario, California, is expected to go into operation by the end of 2023. We have also secured over $50 million in grant funding from various California agencies, reducing the capital costs for hydrogen stations.”

On July 19, Nikola announced Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) acquired the Phoenix Hydrogen Hub project.

“We are negotiating an offtake agreement with FFI, which is intended to support hydrogen demand from Nikola truck customers starting in 2025,” according to the news release. “In the near term as permanent station infrastructure is built, we are securing adequate fueling solutions to enable trucking operations for early customers. We expect to deploy nine hydrogen mobile fuelers at several locations in California by the end of 2023 to support zero-emissions trucking operations.”

Coolidge, Arizona, manufacturing facility

In Coolidge, the Phase 2 assembly expansion has been completed, and the new mixed-model line capable of building both battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks has been installed. The current production capacity of the facility is 2,400 trucks/year on three shifts.

Progress continued on the fuel cell power module assembly line.

“We expect the fuel cell power module assembly line to be completed in Q4 of this year,” according to the news release. “Fuel cell power modules utilized in hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in 2023 will be built and shipped to Coolidge by Bosch. Progress also continued on the battery pack line installation in Coolidge. When we resume battery-electric truck production, the battery packs utilized will be built at our facility in Coolidge.”

The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.


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