Nikola deposit-shames Tesla on Twitter, brags $8 billion in preorders

The hydrogen fuel cell-powered heavy truck startup refunds customer deposits, brags about it on Twitter, throwing shade at Tesla.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read

With Tesla forced to endure some choppy seas at the moment, competitors are wasting no time taking jabs at the beleaguered EV giant, the latest of which is the somewhat questionably named Nikola heavy-duty truck startup.

The company took to Twitter to promote the fact that it will refund all of its current reservation-holders' deposits without changing their place in line, saying that it doesn't need customer reservation money to build its trucks.

Furthermore, Nikola Motor also states that going forward, anyone can reserve either of its truck models without any deposit because it's already got over $8 billion in preorder reservations.

Call us crazy, but that seems optimistic, considering that it's still three years from production on its trucks, by its own estimation and has to-date only offered renderings and a concept or two. If Tesla has shown us anything, it's that producing electric vehicles of any kind at scale as a new manufacturer is difficult.

The fact that the Nikola One and Two are hydrogen fuel cell vehicles complicates things further because America lacks a truly robust hydrogen refueling network and though Nikola Motor has included expanding that in its plans for world domination. It could learn another thing or two from Tesla's Supercharger network on how challenging it can be building and managing infrastructure.

Enlarge Image

The Nikola One concept was impressive, but can it scale up into production?


Still, Nikola seems to have promise, having worked out a deal with the state of Arizona for a factory, but time will really tell if its subtweets at Tesla were anything more than false bravado.