Nikola, the hydrogen-based trucking company, announced yesterday it had closed a $210 million round of Series C funding. According to reports, the round was closed at a $1.1 billion valuation.
Nikola’s Healthy Pre-orders
According to the company announcement, the company has over $12 billion in pre-orders for their vehicles, $380 million of which is for the company’s newest model, the Tre European. Much of the company’s sales have been derived from Europe in response to pending regulations on diesel trucks there.
The Benefits of the New Design
Along with a its environmental benefits, Nikola trucks are also said to reduce the cost of freight shipping by between 10-20% opposed to current diesel models. In a statement regarding the recent round of funding company CEO Trevor Milton remarked, “Once the Nikola Tre arrives in Europe, diesel will finally be on its way out.” The company is currently targeting the US, Europeans, and Australian markets.
Further Specs for the Tre
Along with zero-emissions, the new Tre model will operate in almost complete autonomy and will have a reported range of up to 1,200 kilometers. In a statement regarding the new model, Mr. Milton said, “It will be the first European zero-emission commercial truck to be delivered with redundant braking, redundant steering, redundant 800Vdc batteries and a redundant 120 kW hydrogen fuel cell, all necessary for true level 5 autonomy.” The Tre is expected to go into production by 2022.
Direct Competition with Tesla
The company’s direct competition in the space is Tesla. Nikola had previously filed lawsuit against Tesla claiming Tesla had stolen designs from the Nikola One. According to the lawsuit, Nikola claims Tesla’s design is so similar customers are confusing the two models and sales are being diverted from Nikola’s One as a result. The lawsuit further states that because customers see the two vehicles as so similar any problems with the Tesla model will be unduly ascribed to the Nikolas. Litigation is still pending in the matter.
According to a company statement, the company plans to have more than 700 refueling stations located in and around the US, Canada, and Europe by 2028 and plans to be able to cover most of the market by 2030. With both Nikola and Tesla poised to take future slice of market, expect long-haul fuel-efficient trucking to be competitive for years to come.