Nikola Motor announced it has started series production of its Tre BEV electric Class 8 truck on March 21 at its plant in Coolidge, Arizona.

In the Investor Day Presentation on March 24, the truck maker said that North American production of the Tre BEV began on March 21 and that it expected to start making trucks for European markets at its manufacturing base in Ulm, Germany, in June 2023. 

It's worth pointing out that Nikola Motor is getting a head start over Tesla, whose Semi is expected to enter series production sometime next year at the Giga Texas plant in Austin. Nikola stock gained about 15% on Thursday trading following the production start announcement.

Before the start of series production on March 21, Nikola Motor had built 40 pre-series Tre BEV semi-trucks, of which 18 have been delivered to date. An additional 22 are awaiting final checks and commissioning before delivery.

Gallery: Nikola Tre BEV

During the presentation, executives said the company plans to deliver 300 to 500 battery electric semi-trucks by the end of the year, expecting revenues of between $90 million and $150 million. Deliveries of the trucks are expected to start in the second quarter of this year when critical components become more available.

The company already started shipping Tre BEV semi-trucks to dealers in several US states, according to posts on its social media pages. Dealers mentioned in these posts include California's Quinn Cat, Arizona's Alta Equipment Group and Colorado's Wagner Equipment.

Riding on a purpose-built electrified platform, the Nikola Tre BEV semi-truck has an estimated range of up to 350 miles (563 kilometers), making it fitting for short-medium haul routes.

Charging the battery from 10 to 80% using DC fast-charging takes 100 minutes via a 350kW charger or 200 minutes via a 175kW charger. The Class 8 truck delivers 480 kW (645 horsepower). 

While Nikola says it won't build and deliver more than 500 Tre BEV semi-trucks this year due to parts shortages, it claims the Arizona plant already has manufacturing capacity for up to 2,400 trucks as of Q1 2022 running two shifts. The truck maker estimates the manufacturing capacity will grow to approximately 20,000 trucks by the first quarter of 2023, also with two shifts.

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