Shocking news from Phoenix on Friday morning as a fire damaged several battery-electric trucks at Nikola Motors (NKLA) headquarters — and the company says “foul play” is a suspect.
via Official Twitter accountA car was seen in the area of the damaged trucks before the accident, Nikola said, and an official investigation is still underway. Nikola also said that no one was injured in the fire.
The official Twitter account for the Phoenix Fire Department posted a video of the aftermath of the fires, showing crews and hazmat teams putting out the flames. According to BloombergThe fire department found four trucks on fire and called for 50 firefighters to contain the blaze. The fire department has not determined whether the fire was started intentionally.
Friday’s fire is the latest tough news for Nikola, following revelations last week that the company would lay off about 270 workers. It followed Nikola’s announcement in May that it had sold its stake in a European manufacturing joint venture with trucking giant Iveco Group, with Iveco remaining Nikola’s “main supplier”.
Last month in an interview with Yahoo Finance, CEO Michael Lohscheller said the company expects to produce “between 375 and 500 trucks” for this year, but Friday’s accident at the headquarters is likely to have an impact on that guidance.
In its first-quarter financial report, Nikola said it produced 63 battery-powered electric trucks and delivered 31 to dealers. Nikola reported a 33 percent increase in retail sales in the quarter, and plans to pause production at its Coolidge, Arizona, plant in order to retrofit the assembly line to accommodate both hydrogen fuel cell and electric battery assembly. The company is also leaning more toward increasing production of hydrogen fuel cell trucks, assembling battery electric models on a “build to order” basis.
A spokesman for Nikola said on Friday that the company had no further comment regarding the fire, and that more information would be provided as soon as it becomes available.
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