US battery electric and fuel cell truck manufacturer Nikola Corp is putting a pause on its electric truck production and pulling out of Europe after posting a bigger than expected loss in the first quarter.
The company reported revenues of only $US11 million and a net loss of $US169.09 million, a $US17 million blowout from the same quarter a year earlier, as it struggled to find buyers for the 63 Nikola Are electric trucks that it produced in the first quarter.
It says it has received orders for 33 and delivered 31 to dealers and will now “temporarily pause production” at its Coolodge assembly line.
Nikola said its immediate focus will be on the north American market, hydrogen fuel cell trucks, and the HYLA hydrogen refueling business.
The Coolidge assembly line is expected to be revamped to accommodate both hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric versions of the Tre truck, but the battery electric trucks will only be built to order. Nikola says it has 140 orders for its hydrogen fuel cell trucks.
“We are on the right path with our re-energized management and commercial teams, improved sales strategy, new dealers, and energy partners,” CEO Michael Lohscheller said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the company is moving to cut costs further to reduce spend and cash burn and is therefore selling its stake in the European manufacturing joint venture to Iveco Group.
Shares in Nikola slumped 13 per cent after the news, and have fallen nearly 90 per cent since August last year.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.