When Nikola Corporation, formerly Nikola Motor Company, arrived on the scene, back in 2014, people immediately branded it a scam and a derivative company trying to cut in on Tesla’s success. And on first impressions, Nikola is definitely borrowing some pages out of Tesla’s book.
Firstly, it’s using money from pre-orders for a vehicle that’s not even close to production to keep to boost its stock prices and also keep the operation going. However, as this video posted by Real Engineering highlights, even though there are certain similarities between the two companies’ business models, they actually have radically different philosophies.
Sure, Nikola is now accepting pre-orders for the Badger pickup, which will be available as both a battery powered electric vehicle and a fuel-cell EV. If you’re familiar with Tesla in general and its founder, Elon Musk, in particular, then you probably know that he does not approve of putting fuel cells in vehicles, so it’s something that his company is never going to develop.
This is one major difference between the two, the fact that Nikola is putting emphasis on its interest in developing viable FCEVs. On top of this, since Nikola doesn’t have a manufacturing facility of its own, it will enlist the help of an established automaker to manufacture its Badger pickup and that manufacturer is the only one out of America’s Big Three that has yet to announce its own electric pickup project - Chrysler, now also known as Stellantis after joining forces with PSA.