Nikola Motor Company, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, has sued the Elon Musk-owned Tesla for $2 billion, alleging Tesla stole Nikola’s patented design for its semi-truck which was unveiled to the public in November.
Anheuser-Busch has taken a step towards achieving its 2025 sustainability targets by ordering 800 hydrogen-powered semi-trucks from Nikola Motor Company, which will drastically reduce emissions produced by its dedicated distribution fleet. Nikola indicates the perceived similarity in the front fenders of trucks, streamlined windshields, doors with entrance in the middle, aerodynamic fuselage with similar coefficients of resistance. The trucks have an estimated range between 500 and 1,200 miles, which is a bit more than what Tesla promises with the Semi (500 miles on the high end).
Nikola is scheduled to begin building its trucks in Buckeye, Ariz., starting in late 2020, while Tesla has not yet firmed up plans for production of its truck.
A spokesperson of Tesla, said to the sources, “It’s patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit, whereas a representative for Nikola Motors said in a statement to sources that “We are not commenting because it is in the courts”.
Anheuser-Busch ordered a combination of Nikola One day cab and Nikola Two sleeper cab models.
The hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle startup filed design patents on its Class 8 truck in December 2015 and showed off a real-world prototype in December 2016 (you can read Ars’ coverage of that announcement here).
At this point, Nikola claims Tesla had not yet announced its intent to build a similar semi-truck.
Production issues of its new Model 3, controversy over a fatal autopilot vehicle crash, getting trade secrets stolen by ol’ Anthony “sticky fingers” Levandowski. there’s always some kind of drama brewin’ at Tesla. Those orders require $20,000 deposits per truck, so it makes sense that A-B’s Tesla order would be much smaller. A few months later, in April 2017, Tesla released a teaser image of its upcoming semi.
The lawsuit filed by Nikola puts a number of claims which when viewed collectively proves Tesla ripped technology developed by its engineers, according to the company.
Tesla not only believes that a 500-mile range for its Semi is possible, but it’s possible right now.
It will be interesting to see if the pending lawsuit by Arizona-based rival trucking company Nikola has any effect on that.
Anheuser-Busch has reserved 40 of the Tesla trucks, which it plans to use for shipments to wholesalers within 150 to 200 miles of its brewery locations. Tesla didn’t respond, it says.