Nikola's hydrogen fuel cell truck deliveries surge in Q2, beating expectations

Press day at the Los Angeles Auto Show

(Reuters) -Nikola said on Tuesday deliveries of its hydrogen-fuel cell trucks surged 80% in the second quarter from the previous three months, signaling strong demand for the big rigs amid its shift away from battery-powered vehicles.

The EV startup delivered 72 Class 8 Nikola hydrogen-fuel cell trucks to wholesalers in the quarter, exceeding its own expectations of between 50 and 60 trucks, sending its shares up about 3% in morning trade.

It had delivered 40 hydrogen-fuel cell trucks in the previous quarter. In May, Nikola said it was targeting full-year deliveries of 300 to 350 units.

The increased deliveries signal that Nikola is making progress in its transition to hydrogen-fuel cell trucks, following a challenging 2023 when the company recalled all its battery-powered vehicles due to fires caused by a coolant leak.

Nikola delivered 112 hydrogen trucks in the first half of 2024 and last week said it acquired new customers, including retail major Walmart Canada, to which it recently delivered a hydrogen-powered semi-truck.

Earlier this year, it said that trucking company AiLO Logistics had placed an order for 100 of its hydrogen trucks.

The Phoenix, Arizona-based company has also been opening refuelling stations to support hydrogen trucks.

Still, high interest rates and strained consumer budgets have weighed on overall EV demand, knocking Nikola's shares, which have lost more than 70% of their value so far this year.

With shares plumbing new lows in recent months, the company announced a 1-for-30 reverse stock split last month to shore up its share price to comply with Nasdaq listing rules.

(Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Editing by Tasim Zahid)