Nikola exits European joint venture to focus on hydrogen trucks in North America

FAN Editor

Nikola Motor Company

Source: Nikola Motor Company

Electric heavy truck maker Nikola said that it’s “refocusing the company on North America” as it exited a European joint venture with its chassis supplier.

The news came as the company reported its first-quarter results. Here are the key numbers, together with Wall Street estimates as reported by Refinitiv.

  • Adjusted loss per share: 26 cents, versus 26 cents expected.
  • Revenue: $11.1 million, versus $12.5 million expected.

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Nikola’s net loss for the quarter was $169.1 million, or 26 cents per share, adjusted. A year ago, Nikola lost $152.9 million, or 21 cents per share on an adjusted basis, on revenue of $1.9 million.

Nikola had $121.1 million in cash remaining as of March 31, down from $233.4 million at the end of 2022.

As part of a realignment to conserve cash, Nikola announced overnight that it has sold its share of a European joint venture to its longtime partner, Italian heavy-truck maker Iveco Group, for $35 million in cash and 20.6 million Nikola shares that will be returned by Iveco. Under the deal, Iveco will continue to supply chassis and related components to Nikola and will remain an investor in the company.

“Manufacturing and energy are capital intensive businesses, and we need to remain focused where we have competitive and first mover advantages,” Nikola said in a statement.

Nikola produced 63 battery-electric trucks and delivered 31 to dealers in the quarter. Its dealers sold 33 trucks to end customers during the period. Production of Nikola’s next model, a longer-range fuel-cell powered version of its semitruck, is on track to begin in July as previously expected.

Nikola currently has orders for a total of 140 fuel-cell trucks for 12 fleet customers, it said.

Nikola said it will temporarily suspend production of the battery-electric truck while it reconfigures its assembly line to build both the battery-electric and fuel-cell trucks. While it expects the fuel-cell truck to become its primary product, it will continue to build battery-electric trucks to order after production of the fuel-cell truck begins, it said.

“As we move forward, we will be focusing on the North American market, hydrogen fuel cell trucks, the HYLA hydrogen refueling business, and autonomous technologies,” CEO Michael Lohscheller said. “We have the right products at the right time.”

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