EV Startups Confronting Setbacks

Makers of Electric Trucks and Vans See Business Drawbacks
Nikola battery-electric trucks
Two Nikola Tre battery-electric trucks at the 2021 unveiling of the Iveco-Nikola electric truck plant in Ulm, Germany. (Andreas Gebert/Bloomberg News)

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Truck manufacturer Nikola Corp. and delivery-van maker Arrival added to a series of misfortunes for electric vehicle startups struggling to make it to mass production.

Nikola disclosed late July 3 that it transferred ownership of Romeo Power Inc., the battery supplier it acquired less than a year ago, to a company that will handle selling or liquidating its assets.

Arrival, which along with Nikola went public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company, called off plans to combine with another SPAC. The startup announced late July 3 that it had terminated an agreement with Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. V and will pursue other fundraising opportunities.

The setbacks for Nikola and Arrival follow Lordstown Motor Corp.’s filing for bankruptcy protection last week after a falling-out with production partner Foxconn Technology Group. Nikola and Lordstown came up well short of their production goals for last year, while Arrival scrapped plans to make vans in the U.K.

Nikola and Arrival both are trying to restructure their businesses to focus on the U.S. market. Nikola handed over full control of a German joint venture to partner Iveco Group NV last week, and Arrival is seeking funds to build out a factory in North Carolina.

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