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Nikola plans to ramp up production of the Tre electric semi-truck in March

·Contributing Reporter
·2 min read
Nikola

Nikola is "laser-focused on delivering vehicles and generating revenue," according to CEO Mark Russell. To help it reach those goals, the embattled company is preparing to ramp up production of the battery-electric Tre semi-truck. Russell said Nikola expects to start "series production of the Tre BEV on March 21." The company plans to deliver up to 500 production Tre BEVs this year, starting in the second quarter.

It delivered the first two Tre BEVs to a port trucking company in California in December as part of a three-month pilot. It says the trucks have logged more than 4,500 miles between them and hauled multiple loads per day. One completed a 204-mile trip on a single charge. Anheuser-Busch, meanwhile, is testing two fuel-cell electric variants of the Tre.

Nikola says its Coolidge, Arizona plant currently has a production capacity of 2,500 trucks per year. Work is underway on an expansion that would increase the capacity to up to 20,000 trucks per annum. Work on Phase 2 of the facility should be completed in early 2023. Meanwhile, Nikola's plant in Ulm, Germany is currently capable of producing 2,000 trucks per year, though that figure is expandable to 10,000 trucks.

In its latest earnings report, the company touched on some of the controversies that have plagued it over the last few years. It reached an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in December to settle civil charges that it defrauded investors. The company is paying a $125 million civil penalty over two years. Nikola is seeking reimbursement from founder Trevor Milton for costs and damages it incurred in connection with government and regulatory investigations.

A grand jury indicted Milton on fraud charges last year. Nikola's former CEO and executive chairman allegedly lied to investors about “nearly all aspects of the business” in attempts to increase Nikola's share price. Milton, who has denied the charges against him, is set to go on trial in April.