Nikola Tre BEV production pauses as company posts big Q1 loss

Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) said it would pause production of the Tre BEV after it posted a big loss for the first quarter of 2023.

Nikola said it produced 63 units of the Tre BEV in Q1, with 31 making their way to dealers. However, it appears demand for the vehicles has slowed considerably.

Nikola said inventory has swelled to the point that production can be stopped so it can make improvements to the production lines at its Coolidge, Arizona, production facility.

Nikola said:

“As we have sufficient inventory of the battery electric truck, we will temporarily pause production in Coolidge as we modify the assembly line to accommodate both hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric builds on the same line. After we resume production in Coolidge, the battery electric Tre will remain in our lineup as a build-to-order product.”

The project will begin “at the end of May,” according to Nikola’s quarterly announcement.

Nikola also noted it saw a “significant increase” in sales in Q1 compared to last year. It had locked up several large orders for the Tre BEV last year, but it appears the market for its hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is much higher currently.

The company said it has orders from 12 companies that make up 140 total units of the FCEV Tre.

“Nikola had a very solid quarter, building sales momentum with Class 8 battery electric truck deliveries to customers, and orders for 140 hydrogen fuel cell trucks from customers,” Nikola CEO Michael Lohscheller said. “We have the right products at the right time, and as we move forward, we will be focusing on the North American market, hydrogen fuel cell trucks, the HYLA hydrogen refueling business, and autonomous technologies.”

However, financially the company did not perform well, and its net loss widened from $152.94 million to $169.09 million.

Nikola shares were down around 7.5 percent at 10:17 AM on the East Coast.

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