Nikola investors entered March on a hopeful note after the electric truck start-up reported lower adjusted losses versus estimates for its fourth quarter. The real deal, though, was Nikola's annual event, where the company revealed plans to generate meaningful revenue in the near future.
In February, Nikola announced it had delivered its first two Tre battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to Total Transportation Services (TTSI) in California as part of a pilot program and said it expects to deliver its first saleable Tre BEVs in the second quarter of 2022.
However, with several EV start-ups slashing production targets or delaying launches amid severe supply constraints, investors waited to see if Nikola could really meet its delivery target.
At its March 24 analyst event, Nikola confirmed the start of commercial production and reiterated plans to deliver 300 to 500 BEVs mainly in the second half of 2022, which could bring in revenue worth $90 million to $150 million. The company also said it was ramping up production capacity and expects to be able to produce nearly 20,000 trucks by the first quarter of 2023, up from only around 2,400 trucks in the first quarter of 2022.
Nikola also revealed its two pilot Tre hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) Alpha trucks delivered to beer giant Anheuser-Busch had clocked nearly 8,000 miles combined between January 25 and March 23. Nikola now expects to hand out pilot FCEVs to TTSI in the second quarter of this year. With more pilot deliveries lined up, Nikola expects to clock a total of 50,000 miles on FCEVs in 2022.
There's another big number that stood out in its annual event presentation: $600 billion. That's how big Nikola estimates its global total addressable market to be, with nearly half the opportunity expected to be in FCEVs.
Nikola stock found a tailwind in macro factors as well in March when the Russia-Ukraine conflict sent prices of oil and gas surging and encouraged more nations to rethink their energy policies and speed up the shift from fossil fuels to clean energy. Electric vehicles, and green hydrogen in particular, are key parts of the global clean energy equation, and Nikola dabbles in both.
With Nikola trucks also finally ready to hit the roads, investors seized the opportunity to buy the EV stock on dip in March.