Former lead manager at Nikola Corp.
- Demand appetite for EV (electric vehicle) class 8 trucks
- Nikola’s (NASDAQ: NKLA) production scaling in partnership with Iveco (TAA: IVG)
- Fuel cell technology – Nikola vs peers
- Infrastructure and hydrogen distribution strategy
What is the current state of commercial EVs [electric vehicles], particularly within class 8 trucking? What challenges and opportunities are EV OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] facing?
What are your thoughts on Nikola pursuing both fuel cell and battery-electric at this point? It seems there may be backtracking or getting away from the core offering by offering battery-electric.
What are Nikola’s strengths and weaknesses? The company still seems to have an early-mover advantage in this space, and is clearly focused on the heavy-duty class 8 truck market. What do you make of its positioning today? Where does it still have an advantage?
Can you elaborate on the Nikola-Iveco relationship? How is it structured? What are your thoughts on the strategy? As you said, it bypasses the need for the company to ramp its own production facilities to compete with incumbents, but you’re also putting your fate in the hands of another manufacturer. What are the puts and takes of that relationship?
What’s your assessment of Nikola vs peers around the fuel cell technology itself? Is there anything proprietary around the company’s fuel cell and subsystems to make the fuel cell as efficient as possible?
What’s the most tangible evidence we have from Nikola in terms of its truck capabilities? I’m thinking particularly around fuel cells, not the BEVs [battery electric vehicles].
Cummings has shown interest in the fuel cell space and it’s presumably a matter of time before other incumbent OEMs enter the class 8 fuel cell manufacturing space. Do you think Nikola will be boxed out of many supplier relationships at that point? Will the company be more strained in getting the necessary supplies and inputs to continue the desired manufacturing rate, or is that a non-factor?
You mentioned the infrastructure discussion and Nikola has made it clear that it plans to participate in this side of the business. What roll-out strategy should Nikola target, especially when starting from scratch for the most part, in terms of infrastructure refuelling? How do you see it approaching the infrastructure factor?
Is it clear at this point whether it will be more efficient and cost-effective to produce hydrogen on-site or ship it to individual refuelling stations? Has Nikola indicated anything here?
What are the next steps for Nikola? Obviously, we have a two-prong approach in determining which comes first – infrastructure or vehicle production? A dual approach seems likely, to implement both at the same time. What should be the steps and priorities over the next 12 months?
What might production ramp look like? Presumably there are challenges in starting production from scratch. Will there need to be heavy investment in terms of Nikola scaling its production infrastructure?
Who does Nikola view as the most direct competitor? Who do you think is closest?
Do you think there will be a transitionary period in the adoption of fuel cells, meaning either a hybrid offering or something of that nature? What’s the likelihood of a direct shift from diesel ICEs to fuel cells?
How would you describe Nikola’s culture and work environment? The company had a tough time and some bad press early on. How has it changed, especially where leadership has stepped up?
Can you comment on the quality of Nikola’s leadership and strategic direction?
Is there anything important to highlight or reiterate about Nikola? What’s your company outlook?
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