A Nikola Tre BEV Class 8 electric truck that had been previously damaged in a June 23 fire reignited at Nikola's headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona yesterday.
The electric truck startup said in a statement cited by Reuters that there were no injuries and that the fire was contained. "At approximately 2 pm today at Nikola HQ, one of the trucks that was previously damaged reignited. No one was injured and the fire was quickly contained," Nikola said.
The company noted that the damaged Nikola Tre BEV trucks were kept at its Phoenix site for "safety monitoring and the ongoing investigations." Nikola did not provide any further details.
On June 26, Nikola reported a fire around its headquarters and said it suspected foul play behind the incident as a vehicle was seen in the area of the affected trucks before the fire started. Multiple trucks were affected by the fire but no injuries were reported.
Gallery: Nikola Tre BEV
Contrary to Nikola's claims, the Phoenix Fire Department did not find any evidence of arson. After concluding the investigation of the Nikola Tre BEV fires, the City of Phoenix's Fire Investigations Task Force division chief Daniel Cheatham told Electrek that the cause of the fire at Nikola's headquarters was officially declared to be "undetermined" and that there wasn't "any evidence at all that supports arson."
The Phoenix Police Department also opened an investigation into the fires and said it was analyzing evidence such as videos and witness tips. Both the fire and police departments are yet to publish final reports of their investigations.
It's worth noting that internal Nikola documents revealed in June point to a possible issue with the Tre BEV's battery pack. More specifically, laser welding could puncture some cells in a module, causing the cells to corrode after just two test cycles and potentially generating excess heat. The startup told InsideEVs in a statement that battery packs with weld issues did not make it into production semi-trucks.
Nikola also noted that both its internal engineering team and a third-party team have opened investigations to determine the root cause of the fires, and that the results would come out in several weeks.