Tesla: 0, Nikola: 11 as Deliveries of its Electric Semi Begin
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Tesla: 0, Nikola: 11 as Deliveries Begin

Nikola released its Q1 results earlier today, and it shows something that caused us— among others!— to do a double-take. Namely: Nikola has actually built, sold, shipped, and delivered fully 11 (eleven) fully-electric semi trucks … and they’re just getting started!

Despite the embarrassing controversies surrounding Nikola over the last few years— which include allegations that then-CEO Trevor Milton fondled his underage cousin, a defunct, Fyre-festival-esque “Nikola World” that never happened, and the fact that they rolled a dummy truck down a hill in order to get video of the thing moving— the company has been quietly plugging along, putting noses to grindstones and developing an actual, for-real electric semi truck. Now, it’s not just ready— it’s in the hands of customers!

“During the first quarter, we reached a significant milestone with the start of serial production for the Nikola Tre BEV at our Coolidge, Arizona manufacturing facility and are currently delivering saleable trucks to dealers for customer deliveries,” said Mark Russell, Nikola’s new CEO, having taken over from Trevor a little over two years ago. “We look forward to scaling production and delivering 300-500 production vehicles to customers this year.”

As it stands, Tesla— which has set a number of deadlines for the launch of its “Tesla Semi” truck since it was first shown in all the way back in 2017— has yet to deliver the 15 trucks that were promised to PepsiCo in Q4 of 2021. Nikola, Kenworth, Mack, and Volvo, meanwhile, all have electric semis in the field.

Heck— Volvo is on its second-generation of VNR electric semis!

Keep in mind, Tesla has a market cap several times higher than any other automaker. Despite this, relatively tiny Nikola seems to be getting the job done. Serial production of its “Tre” electric semi began on March 21, with shipment to customers beginning in April. We were too distracted by the Tesla “Cyber Rodeo” event to notice that … which, in hindsight, may have been the point.

Nikola says it has purchase orders in-hand for 134 trucks through its dealers utilizing California HVIP vouchers, as part of a “total sales” of 510 Nikola Tre electric trucks. And, sure— the Tesla semi might be better when it finally gets the production nod. But, by then, will anybody care?


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