No one expected Nikola to post financial figures in the black, but the startup hydrogen-electric semi truck company said it has finally completed the first Tre prototype in Europe. The company called it a significant milestone, but plenty of testing remains before the trucks are ready to hit European roads.
Nikola continues to work with CNH Industrial, an Iveco subsidiary with a substantial footprint in the segment, to bring the Tre to life. The hard part isn't the body, though, since the Tre is essentially a rebadged Iveco S-Way. It's the powertrain, which according to Nikola, is a totally proprietary system. Things remain murky here since the startup confirmed it's still in talks with General Motors to source battery and hydrogen fuel-cell technology from. The question remains, if Nikola has its own powertrain, why would it seek support from GM? Nevertheless, a Nikola powertrain sits underneath the prototype, though the company isn't ready to share details just yet.
When the Tre debuted, Nikola promised a 720 kilowatt-hour battery pack with 248 miles of range, 644 horsepower and 1,327 pound-feet of torque. We'll have to see if those numbers hold as the Tre moves to validation testing, though the company said the Tre does move under its own power during sessions on a test track. A fuel-cell version of the Tre is supposedly coming in 2023.
Nikola continues to reel after allegations of fraud earlier this year, which saw Nikola chairman Trevor Milton step down from his position and out of the spotlight. The startup also confirmed it received subpoenas from the US Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commision in its regulatory filing Monday. Nothing has come of any federal investigation, but the confirmation from Nikola confirms the DOJ and SEC aren't letting the allegations of fraud go quietly into the night.