Nikola Earnings Show Revenue Miss, Weak Electric Truck Delivery Forecast

Visitors inspect a Nikola Corp. electric truck
Visitors inspect a Nikola Corp. electric truck at the 2022 IAA Transportation show in Hanover, Germany. (Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg News)

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Nikola Corp. posted an earnings loss amid efforts to expand the business during the fourth quarter of 2022, the company reported Feb. 23.

The Phoenix-based zero-emission truck developer posted a net loss of $222.1 million, or a loss of 46 cents a diluted share, for the three months ending Dec. 31. That compared with a loss of $158.9 million, or a loss of 39 cents a share, during the same time the previous year. Total revenue was $6.56 million with no prior-year comparison.

For the full year, Nikola reported net loss of $784.2 million, or a loss of $1.78 a share, on revenue of $50.8 million, compared with a net loss of $690.4 million, or a loss of $1.74 a share in 2021.

“During the fourth quarter we strengthened our commercial and sales operations, which is expected to lead to increased sales and accelerated customer deliveries,” Nikola CEO Michael Lohscheller said. “As a whole, we made significant progress on both the truck and energy infrastructure fronts.”

Nikola recently announced the completion of its first hydrogen mobile fueler. It is designed to provide a flexible fueling solution for fleets by enabling fueling at their depots. They can also serve as an interim solution as permanent infrastructure is built and network density develops.

HYLA was also launched as a hydrogen energy brand of the company in January. It aims to provide integrated and innovative energy solutions for customers.

“The advances we have made on battery charging and hydrogen solutions with strategic partners, and the unveiling of our hydrogen mobile fueler under the HYLA brand, will allow Nikola to provide fully integrated mobility solutions to customers for both the BEV and FCEV,” Lohscheller said.

Nikola also announced several strategic partnerships and off-take agreements to help improve access to hydrogen supplies. That includes acquiring facilities and investing in companies that play a role in gaining hydrogen supplies.

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Fuel cell electric vehicles pilot testing with Walmart and TTSI was successfully completed during the quarter. Nikola has completed the build and commissioning of 17 fuel cell electric vehicles beta trucks and are now in the process of building 10 gamma trucks to be used for additional pilot testing and vehicle validation.

Nikola said its commercial and sales team is looking to secure binding orders and customer deposits. The company announced its strategic collaboration with Plug Power that includes an order for up to 75 fuel cell electric vehicles Dec. 15.

Nikola produced 133 Nikola Tre battery-electric vehicles during the quarter. The company delivered 20 to dealers. It utilized the fourth quarter to improve the battery-electric vehicle product based on customer and potential customer feedback. It also released an over-the-air software update 2.0, which increased the vehicle usable range and enabled 350kW DC fast charging.

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