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Original SPAC-meme stock Nikola soars 17% after it begins production of its first electric vehicle – Business Insider India

Nikola seems to be turning a corner on its troubled past and is moving ahead with its strategy of building electric semi-trucks for the freight industry.
Nikola soared as much as 19% in premarket trade on Thursday after the company said it began production of its Tre truck, an electric semi-truck that is estimated to have up to 350 miles in range per charge. Shares were up 17% at the opening bell to $10.66.
The company said it expects to build 300 to 500 of the electric semi-trucks in 2022. The comments came during an analyst event on Wednesday, and ahead of an investor presentation late Thursday afternoon.
Despite Thursday’s surge, Nikola stock is still down 88% from its record high of $93.99. That surge came just a few months after it went public via SPAC in June of 2020, in which it was briefly valued higher than Ford and helped spark a wave of new SPAC deals.
But the sugar high in Nikola stock didn’t last long in 2020 after its founder, Trevor Milton, resigned and was charged with fraud. At issue was the misrepresentation of progress at the company, with Nikola rolling an inoperable truck down a hill and filming it as if the truck was working.
With new management at the helm of Nikola, the company scrapped its consumer-targeted electric pick-up truck and is instead focusing all of its efforts on electric semi-trucks. And now it appears that the company will beat Tesla to market. Tesla first unveiled its electric semi-truck in 2017, but a series of product delays means the truck won’t be released until 2023 at the earliest.
The relatively short range of Nikola’s Tre means the semi-truck will be best used for local applications. But Nikola said it still has long-term ambitions to develop longer-range semi-trucks powered by hydrogen gas and fuel cells.
Nikola said deliveries of its Tre truck will begin in the second quarter, while European deliveries will begin in the third quarter.
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