Nikola releases Q1 earnings, progress report

Nikola releases Q1 earnings, progress report

Report highlights include North American interest in its hydrogen FCEV trucks, additional hydrogen refueling stations and BEV truck delivery.

Nikola Corp. reported financial results and business updates for the quarter ended March 31, 2024. In the release, the company notes continued North American interest in its hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks (FCEVs), additional hydrogen refueling stations in Canada and completed delivery of its battery electric truck (BEV).

“We continue to move forward rapidly and execute our plans. And please keep that in mind – we are in the execution phase, not the planning or ‘concepting’ phase,” said Steve Girsky, president and chief executive officer of Nikola. “Last quarter, I talked about getting on the field with the first deliveries of our hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks. Today, we are executing plays, competing, and cultivating more green shoots as we expand upon current markets and enter new ones.”

Hydrogen fuel cell electric truck

At the end of Q1, Nikola says it exceeded the high end of the guidance range by delivering 40 FCEVs, all designated for fleets, which brings the total to 75 wholesaled FCEVs in the first two quarters of serial production. Nikola adds it is seeing green shoots with repeat and new fleets, some in new markets such as NY. While its initial focus has been CA and Canada, the company sees opportunity to expand its reach to meet the demands of end fleet users across the U.S.

For the program to date, Nikola tells us its FCEVs have accumulated over 830,000 miles with an average fuel economy exceeding its target of 7.2 miles/kg.

Energy

Nikola says its HYLA team is on track with its Hydrogen Highway Plan. Previously, the company committed to nine additional HYLA refueling stations in California by year-end 2024. Now it expects to provide nine hydrogen fueling solutions by mid-year 2024 and 14 by year-end 2024. These solutions include modular fuelers and partner stations in California, Canada and their home station at the Coolidge, AZ manufacturing facility.

Nikola wants to emphasize that building the hydrogen ecosystem requires industry-wide collaboration, adding that partners are needed and in different forms and stages of infrastructure development. Nikola’s shared mission is to build an open ecosystem accessible to all.  

Constructive green policies

Nikola maintained its market share of HVIP vouchers for Class 8 FCEVs, ending the quarter with 362 of 367 or 99% of the unredeemed vouchers that were requested in 2023 through March 2024. On the Class 8 BEV side, the company ended Q1 with 85 unredeemed vouchers or 30% market share.

While HVIP is only one program, Nikola tells us it is encouraged by the progress in constructive green policies—two in particular, which it says help fund its business. CARB’s Heavy-Duty Omnibus Regulation allows Nikola to monetize the NOx and particulate matter or PM credits it generates from selling zero-emissions trucks on a model year basis. Nikola executed its first sale agreement for credits generated for Model Year 22 and says revenue from this transaction will be recognized in Q2 2024. It expects future revenue from the sale of CARB credits to grow over time and be meaningful. 

Battery-electric truck

Lastly, Nikola completed the first delivery of a remediated BEV in Q1, adding that the company continues to prioritize returning BEVs to customers and dealers and now expects to complete remediation of these units by year-end 2024. However, Nikola adds that ability to sell on-hand inventory will be dependent upon future battery supply, saying it expects to sell on-hand inventory for revenue in 2025. 

Nikola says it also took this opportunity to “future proof” the BEV 2.0, as it shares significant software commonality with the battery and operating systems on Nikola’s FCEV, allowing customers to receive next-generation upgrades over-the-air, as they are deployed. Fleet users were kept front and center as it engineered over-the-air enhancements, including dynamic data gathering for predictive diagnostics, improved truck performance and field issue identification, according to the company. Nikola says it also deployed Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features to manage powertrain demand in aggressive route conditions such as mountainous driving.

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