Aug 5, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Electric vehicle startup Nikola claims progress but stock plunges

Illustration of an electric car charging pump with a dollar bill as the prong.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nikola Corp., a company planning to build electric and hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, posted an $86.6 million quarterly net loss Tuesday in what was its first earnings report after going public in June.

Why it matters: Nikola is attracting lots of attention for plans to build a line of semi-trucks, as well as a pickup, in the coming years as it tries to break through in those fledgling markets.

Where it stands: The Phoenix-based company's stock fell sharply after the report. It regained some ground, but has traded down more than 10% all Wednesday morning.

  • Overall, the stock price has lost significant ground after soaring when the company first began trading in early June.

Yes, but: Right now, it's all about expectations because the company is not in commercial production yet and has basically no revenue, yet has a remarkable $14 billion market capitalization.

  • CEO Mark Russell said in a statement that the company "met predetermined milestones" during the quarter.
  • Nikola said it's on track to begin production of its first electric semi at a plant in Germany in late 2021, and it also broke ground last month for the manufacturing plant it's building in Arizona.
  • The company plans to bring a hydrogen fuel-cell semi into production in 2023.
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