Nikola Motors Likely Bankrupt by End of 2023

Nikola Motors filed a 10k which reports a ASC 205-40 analysis reveals substantial doubt that we will have sufficient funds to satisfy our obligations through the next twelve months.

Nikola will continue to incur operating and net losses each quarter until at least the time they begin to generate significant margin from our trucks, which may not happen. They had $6.5 million in revenue in the fourth quarter but the cost of those sales was more than seven times the revenue generated.

Nikola produced 258 Tre BEVs and delivered 131 to dealers for revenue of $50.8 million in 2022. It cost $155.6 million to sell the trucks, resulting in a gross loss of $104.8 million. They produced 133 Tre BEVs in Q4 and delivered 20 trucks and 21 chargers to dealers, with an average selling price of $374,000.

They had net losses of $784.2 million and $690.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively, and have an accumulated deficit of approximately $2.0 billion.

Nikola Tre Battery-electric Truck Production

Nikola plans to deliver 30 to 50 Tre BEVs in Q1, generating $10.5 million to $17.5 million in revenue. Nikola dealers and the company hold most of the current Tre BEV inventory, 115 and 127 trucks. Production of battery-electric trucks is projected to be 250 to 350 in 2023. The infrastructure for charging them trails the ability to produce them.

5 thoughts on “Nikola Motors Likely Bankrupt by End of 2023”

  1. Nikola originally had a very good idea for their truck.

    A BEV truck chassis with a highly aerodynamic cab, and a compartment space behind the cab to accommodate either an additional battery pack, or a containerized range extender. They had explored both diesel and CNG fueled range extenders, and had entertained both a conventional otto cycle engine or a Capstone microturbine.

    That should have been a winner, as it gives flexibility to choose fleet fuel if going series hybrid, with a easily swappable range extender allowing easier maintenance (or even jet engine style powerplant fleet leasing), and all the general improvements from have a pure electric drivetrain (regen, torque steering). Having a diesel series hybrid PHEV truck would have gotten much more buyin by purchasers on the fence over range anxiety, who are potentially convertible to pure BEV later with a module swap if their needs can be met.

    Then they got distracted by hydrogen. Even then, if they had stuck with the original swappable module concept and just added a fuel cell/hydrogen module in the purchase options that would have done a lot. But going all-in on hydrogen when there isn’t a massive infrastructure program for hydrogen refueling stations in play, was dumb.

    Japan as a government has made huge efforts at hydrogen infrastructure, in a country with a high density that reduces the infrastructure burden a bit, and there’s still poor penetration. Expecting better in the US as the first market was fundamentally crippling. You can see by all the partnerships Nikola built with rest stop operators to deploy refueling infrastructure that it simply didn’t exist in sufficient quantities yet.

  2. They should’ve only focused on BEV’s, all the money they have dumped into hydrogen is gone. Hydrogen is a stupid power source for for any vehicle, maybe ships & aircraft…but not anything on the road.

  3. Nikola is stressed, but has available at the market financing available. NY and Ca have huge subsidies per truck which have to be applied for after the first quarter.
    The H2 operations begin to kick in this year. So,they’ll survive, much to the distress of Brian,but with current shareholders diluted.

  4. I suppose that depends on how the EV industry proceeds as a national and international market.
    If there truly will be near-exponential growth in PEVs, over the next part-of-a-decade then it only seems to me that intense interest in M&A across all sizes and locations of auto/ truck manufacturers, with even the most minimal EV infrastructure, wil occur. This will almost always mean small and cheap companies will be bought, if not as an intact entity.
    There are few industries that are as much natural scavengers as the vehicle-supply-chain – often feasting on the assets of their fallen contemporaries.
    It will be interesting to see who will still be standing in 2025 – anti-trust investigations be excused.

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