Listed on the stock market on June 4 and without having sold a single truck, the startup Nikola saw the value of its stock market share soar with an increase of more than 104% at the start of the week, ie a market value of around of $ 34 billion. Its capitalization, now equivalent to $ 30 billion, is slightly higher than that of Ford, and equivalent to twice that of Fiat-Chrysler (FCA group).

Comparable to the Tesla company, it also shares with it the same inspiration for the American scientist of Serbian origin, Nikola Tesla, one of whom chose the name and the other the first name for the name of his company. .

Founded 5 years ago in Salt Lake City (Utah), the company is now based in Phoenix (Arizona) since 2018. It was listed on the Nasdaq listed company since 2018, VectoIQ Acquisition Corp.

The engine model proposed by this company is quite daring, since it combines the energy of hydrogen to produce its own electricity via fuel cells. This technology is considered very promising by investors who believe very much in the success of this project.

In addition, its operation would be quite similar to current combustion engines, allowing more autonomy than an electric motor alone, with a full tank of a few minutes. Criticisms are however voiced about the potential cost for setting up charging stations.

A rapidly expanding activity

The brand's Badger pickup is already available for pre-booking and co-founder Trevor Milton says it has recorded more than 14,000, which could generate potential sales of more than $ 10 billion. It has an electric motor and a range extender powered by hydrogen, allowing a total range of 960 km.

The hydrogen heavyweight would not be marketed until 2023. Indeed, the company wants to anticipate the construction of hydrogen stations so that its vehicles are fully operational. The company said it will take 10 years to install 700 stations.

Before making a hydrogen truck fleet fully operational, the startup first wants to market trucks with a more conventional electric motor.

However, she is working on projects for a buggy, a 4 × 4 and a jet ski using its hydrogen technology. The market for hydrogen powered vehicles remains to be developed and conquered. Today only a few thousand copies are sold per year by the Toyota, Hyundai and Honda and Daimler brands.