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Electric vehicle startup Nikola has begun production of its first battery-electric semi-truck

EV startup Nikola has begun production of its first electric semi-truck

March 25, 2022: -On Wednesday, Electric heavy-truck startup Nikola announced that it had begun producing the battery-powered version of its electric Tre semi-truck at its factory in Coolidge, Arizona, beating rival Tesla’s electric semi-truck to market.

Nikola plans to start deliveries of the trucks in the second quarter, executives said in a presentation for analysts. Production of the trucks for customers started on Monday.

Nikola shares were up, meaning 4% in after-hours trading following the announcement.

The battery-electric version of the Tre is intended for shorter routes, with an estimated range of about 350 miles. Nikola is expecting to deliver amid 300 and 500 of the trucks this year before it ramps up production to a higher level in 2023.

Nikola’s once high-flying stock has slumped to single digits since the departure of its founder, Trevor Milton, under an ethical cloud in 2020. The company has cut ties with Milton and has settled all outstanding claims related to his actions, it reiterated on Wednesday.

Milton was indicted in the previous year on federal fraud charges related to his statements before Nikola’s initial public offering.

Nikola is planning to follow the battery-electric Tre with a version powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that will come with a range of up to 500 miles, suitable for longer routes. That will be followed by what Nikola calls a “next-generation” fuel-cell model in 2025, ideal for long-haul routes with up to 900 miles of range.

The company confirmed that the hydrogen Tre is on track to begin shipping in late 2023.

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