Zero-emission truck maker Nikola readies for rebirth as $11B public company
Posted: 02-Jun-2020 |

A recent report by the AZ Central says that the Phoenix-based maker of zero-emission heavy trucks Nikola Corp. will become a publicly traded corporation later this week, possibly worth $11 billion or more, if a vote to approve its merger with another company succeeds as expected.

More than $700 million in proceeds from the reverse-merger transaction with VectoIQ Acquisition Corp. will allow Nikola to continue research in zero-pollution electric and hydrogen vehicles, break ground on a new Arizona factory in Coolidge and build a network of hydrogen fueling stations for semitrucks.

It also results in a new Arizona billionaire —Trevor Milton, who founded Nikola in 2015 and will hold about 42% of the combined company's shares.

Assuming a successful vote in favor of the marriage with VectoIQ, the resulting corporation, which will retain the Nikola name, will trade in the Nasdaq stock market, likely under the symbol NKLA, by June 3 or 4. Shares in VectoIQ have been trading all along and have risen sharply in price, including a gain of $5.29 a share to $33.99 on Monday. VectoIQ shares will convert into Nikola stock.

"People are driving the stock up," said Milton in a brief interview Monday. "They see value in the (combined) company."

Nikola plans to use proceeds from the merger to accelerate its development of electric battery and hydrogen fuel-cell heavy trucks and other vehicles. The company also plans to build a network of hydrogen fueling stations to support trucks ordered by customers, with two-dozen anticipated stations across the nation by 2024 or so.

Nikola's electric-battery heavy trucks are designed for short hauls of up to 300 miles and can be recharged in several hours. Its hydrogen fuel-cell trucks are designed for hauls of up to 750 miles and can be refueled within about 15 minutes. Both zero-emission vehicles are slightly heavier than conventional diesel trucks and haul slightly less freight, according to Nikola's analysis.

The company is also developing zero-emission light military vehicles, pickup trucks and off-road vehicles for consumer use, along with jet ski-like watercraft.

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