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Delayed Quote. Delayed Nasdaq - 12/02 04:00:00 pm
9.88 USD   +4.00%
12/02NIKOLA CEO : Inflation keeps clean truck costs higher than diesel
12/01INSIDER SELL : Nikola
11/24INSIDER SELL : Nikola
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Nikola, Tesla Map Different Paths to Commercial Truck Market

06/12/2020 | 04:51pm EST

By Jennifer Smith

Electric-truck startup Nikola Corp. and Tesla Inc. both aim to wean the trucking industry off its decades-old dependence on diesel fuel, but the rivals are using two very different road maps.

Tesla plans to use its own technology to build the company's all-electric Semi truck, including batteries produced at its factory outside Reno, Nev., that supplies its passenger vehicles.

Nikola drew big attention to the electric-truck market this week as shares in the company soared after it began public trading through a merger, and it aims to be just as disruptive as Tesla with a plan to power big rigs through using batteries and hydrogen fuel-cell technology. But the company is building its future on partnerships with established industry manufacturers.

Phoenix-based Nikola has set up partnerships with equipment-maker CNH Industrial NV and automotive supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, which also have invested in the startup. Nikola plans to build a U.S. factory in Coolidge, Ariz., but initial production of its first semi trucks will be at a plant in Ulm, Germany, operated by IVECO, CNH's commercial vehicle brand.

Competing with established manufacturers while also changing the way trucks are powered is "a huge undertaking," Nikola Chief Executive Mark Russell said. "Every time we came to a challenge we talked to the established experts around the globe... It was just a really great way to scale the company up."

IVECO also will help Nikola establish a fueling network in Europe for its hydrogen-electric big rigs, Mr. Russell said. Those trucks, which are planned for production starting in 2023,are to be powered by hydrogen that passes through a fuel cell stack to produce electricity that sends energy to the vehicle's wheels.

"The reason hydrogen hasn't taken off is there isn't enough infrastructure to serve them if you bought one," Mr. Russell said. "We have to build the vehicle and we have to build the stations to refuel them."

Big-transport operators are lining up to test the electric trucks. Companies including Walmart Inc., FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service Inc., Ryder System Inc. and J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. have placed reservations for Tesla's Semi. Trucker U.S. Xpress Inc. and the U.S. subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA have reserved hundreds of Nikola's hydrogen-electric trucks.

The companies haven't placed full orders, however, and the reservations can be canceled.

Don't expect to see the trucks on the road soon. The Semi was supposed to come out last year, but has since been pushed back to 2021. Tesla didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nikola's first model, an electric-battery truck called the Tre, is also set to roll out next year, with the hydrogen fuel-cell model slated for 2023.

Transportation experts say it could be years before the vehicles gain traction in long-haul trucking, where high upfront costs and concerns about range are hurdles to adoption.

Diesel-powered trucks can go twice as far on a single tank of fuel as the Semi's maximum 500-mile range.

"We expect gradual increases in adoption rates, particularly for short-haul applications, and for the Class 8 tractor market, access to automotive scale will be key to driving costs down," said Tim Denoyer, vice president and senior analyst at transportation data provider ACT Research.

By 2030, electric and hybrid models could account for 6.8% of the North American market for heavy-duty trucks, which also includes vehicles such as garbage trucks, according to equipment research group Rhein Associates.

"The biggest question mark that always comes up for me is infrastructure, " said Rhein Associates analyst Andrew Wrobel. Truck stops "are designed to push diesel and gasoline. They are not set up to handle electric charging, especially for long-haul truckers, and they are not set up for hydrogen, to power fuel cells."

Write to Jennifer Smith at jennifer.smith@wsj.com


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CNH INDUSTRIAL N.V. 3.21% 17.06 Delayed Quote.32.87%
FEDEX CORPORATION 3.30% 235.3 Delayed Quote.-9.37%
NIKOLA CORPORATION 4.00% 9.88 Delayed Quote.-37.75%
RYDER SYSTEM, INC. -0.15% 79.52 Delayed Quote.28.76%
TESLA, INC. -0.95% 1084.6 Delayed Quote.53.70%
WALMART INC. -1.22% 135.47 Delayed Quote.-6.02%
12/02NIKOLA CEO : Inflation keeps clean truck costs higher than diesel
12/01INSIDER SELL : Nikola
11/24INSIDER SELL : Nikola
11/08Consumer Stocks Off Intraday Lows Late Monday
11/08EV Stocks Rally After Passage of $1.2 Trillion US Infrastructure Spending Package
11/08Consumer Stocks Retreating This Afternoon
11/08DA Davidson Adjusts Nikola's Price Target to $12 from $10, Keeps Neutral Rating
11/08Deutsche Bank Adjusts Nikola's Price Target to $19 From $15, Maintains Hold Rating
11/08Wedbush Raises Nikola's Price Target to $15 From $10, Maintains Neutral Rating
11/05Nikola's Shares Drop After BTIG Downgrade to Neutral From Buy
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Analyst Recommendations on NIKOLA CORPORATION
More recommendations
Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 2,54 M - -
Net income 2021 -641 M - -
Net cash 2021 512 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 -7,03x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 3 995 M 3 995 M -
EV / Sales 2021 1 373x
EV / Sales 2022 27,5x
Nbr of Employees 450
Free-Float 53,0%
Duration : Period :
Nikola Corporation Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
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Technical analysis trends NIKOLA CORPORATION
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 8
Last Close Price 9,88 $
Average target price 15,43 $
Spread / Average Target 56,2%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Mark A. Russell President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
Kim J. Brady Chief Financial Officer
Stephen J. Girsky Chairman
Dane Davis Chief Technology Officer
Isaac Sloan Chief Information Officer & Software Architect
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