Nikola, Startup Maker of Hydrogen-Electric Semis, Goes Public

The company’s IPO reportedly made founder Trevor Milton worth some $4.6 billion.

The Nikola Two semi-truck.
The Nikola Two semi-truck.
Nikola Corp.

Six years after a Utah entrepreneur established a new company aimed at revolutionizing long-haul trucking, Nikola Corp. officially became a publicly traded company this week.

Nikola on Wednesday announced the completion of its previously announced combination with VectoIQ Acquisition and its listing on the Nasdaq. On Thursday, the company’s IPO put its stock price at about $34 per share — which would reportedly value the stake owned by founder Trevor Milton at about $4.6 billion.

Milton started the company in Salt Lake City in 2014 and unveiled its first hydrogen fuel-electric hybrid semi-truck, the Nikola One, two years later. The company has since relocated to Phoenix, announced plans for a $1 billion Arizona factory, and rolled out plans for two more semis and a fully electric or hydrogen-electric pickup known as the Badger.

Company officials said the proceeds from its listing will be used to break ground on the Coolidge, Ariz., factory, as well as accelerate its vehicle production and build out infrastructure for hydrogen fuel stations.

Nikola touted more than $10 billion in pre-order reservations for its vehicles and said it expects to generate revenue by next year. Milton, however, told CNBC Thursday that the company's path won't be easy.

“It’s going to take a good five years,” Milton told the network.

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