Nikola Lowers 2023 Delivery Target

Truck Maker Handles Fallout From EV Battery Fires
Nikola Tre
Nikola had previously said it would deliver 350 and then 500 vehicles this year. (Nikola Motor Co. via YouTube)

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Nikola Corp. fell in early trading after the maker of electric big rigs warned it may not reach its full-year delivery target as it grapples with fallout from recent battery incidents.

The company also said in a regulatory filing Aug. 21 that it “may incur significant expenses” to fix or find a replacement for the faulty part. A fire in June and second incident in August prompted Nikola to recall 209 battery-electric trucks earlier this month and temporarily halt new sales.

“As a result, our brand, business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows may be adversely affected,” the company said in the filing. There may be a particular impact on the “ability to meet our previously stated expectations regarding deliveries for the remainder of 2023.”

The company had said it expected to deliver as many as 350 electric big rigs this year, and later said it may produce as many as 500.

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Nikola’s shares fell 13% as of 8:09 a.m. Aug. 21 in New York. The stock has lost two-thirds of its market value over the past year.

The disclosure marked another setback in a tumultuous stretch for the company, whose CEO Michael Lohscheller abruptly stepped down earlier this month. Nikola has also announced hundreds of job cuts in recent months to reduce expenses and preserve cash, and has faced public criticism from its ousted founder.

The battery fire in June, which the company initially said could be the result of “foul play,” was subsequently blamed on a coolant leak. Nikola said the finding was corroborated by a minor second incident in August, prompting the recall. No one was injured in the incidents.

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