Nikola Motors – The outlook keeps looking better

At Nikola headquarters, © Nikola
At Nikola headquarters, © Nikola

Nikola Motors needs to be understood/categorized as a start-up in the process of implementing its business plan. The construction of its factory in Coolidge, Arizona is underway, and the first batteryelectric trucks (BEV trucks) are already with customers. This year should see 300 to 500 of these, along with sufficient capacity for 2,400, which should reach 20,000 by 2023. In Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, the number of units produced by partner Iveco is to increase from 2,000 to 10,000. 

Turnover for the first operating year (2022) will be 90 to 150 million USD. In 2023, the hydrogen-powered trucks (FCEV trucks), designed for long hauls, will be launched. Nikola is working to provide the necessary amounts of hydrogen for them by building electrolysis capacity and H2 filling stations. The commercial vehicle manufacturer sees itself well on its way and wants to see hydrogen established as an energy source in its own right, as it would become a long-term revenue source. 

During the Super Bowl, two Nikola FCEV truck prototypes drove up to the stadium to deliver beer in an environmentally friendly and also marketing-effective way. So far, Anheuser Busch, via an LOI for 800 FC trucks, is Nikola’s biggest customer. Nikola considers a minimum of 500 miles (805 km) long-haul, which its FCEV truck covers. BEVs, on the other hand, Anheuser has been buying from Chinese company BYD. Test series of Nikola’s BEVs affirmed that Nikola has achieved the furthest range out of all suppliers in this segment. 

Altogether, the North American company now has 1,385 trucks, via LOIs or MOUs, in its books – 375 battery-electric and 1,010 hydrogen-powered. There have been various announcements such as 100 Tre BEVs for Heniff Transportation, to be maintained by Thompson Truck Centers. There are certainly many more to come. In parallel, Nikola is working on mobile charging stations, called mobile charging trailers. Six have already been sold, and orders are in hand for a further six. 

Interesting are the subsidy programs of individual US states. In California, there is an incentive of 120,000 USD per battery-electric truck, which could be up to 150,000 USD for special types. A similar program is on the way to New York. Here, there is even talk of an incentive in the amount of 185,000 USD per truck. Before Nikola lies the task of communicating these subsidy opportunities to customers, but also speaking to authorities of different states about how such government subsidies will look, how they will be implemented and what can be expected for hydrogen-powered options. 

Legal dispute with company founder Milton 

Following the agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to pay 125 million USD within two yearsthe first installment has already been paid Nikola has meanwhile sued founder Trevor Milton for damages. The trial is ongoing, and Milton would have the money to pay compensation to the company if he loses. Yes, he divested over 300 million dollars’ worth of shares. But that’s a sideshow that does not affect Nikola’s operations. It is of course good for liquidity in the event of success.[…]

… Read this article to the end in the latest H2-International


Each investor must always be aware of their own risk when investing in shares and should consider a sensible risk diversification. The FC companies and shares mentioned here are small and mid cap, i.e. they are not standard stocks and their volatility is also much higher. This report is not meant to be viewed as purchase recommendations, and the author holds no liability for your actions. All information is based on publicly available sources and, as far as assessment is concerned, represents exclusively the personal opinion of the author, who focuses on medium- and long-term valuation and not on short-term profit. The author may be in possession of the shares presented here. 

Author: Sven Jösting, written March 15th, 2022 

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