Nikola recalls all battery-electric Tre trucks and stops sales

After two separate fire incidents, US-based e-truck manufacturer Nikola has issued a recall for all 209 of its currently produced Tre BEV trucks due to a faulty component in the battery pack of the trucks. The company has also decided to pause sales of its battery-electric trucks until the issue is resolved.

Two “thermal incidents”, as Nikola calls them, were the cause of this voluntary recall in the US: a fire at the company’s headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 23, 2023, and a second, more minor fire on August 10.

No foul play

Initially, Nikola assumed foul play due to video footage showing a vehicle quickly pulling away from the truck after the start of the fire. After first- and third-party investigations, the company has found a faulty component in the battery packs, which can cause a coolant leak and a subsequent battery pack fire.

Every Tre BEV, based on an Iveco S-Way delivered to date, is set to be recalled, and sales are temporarily halted until a solution has been found – likely a suitable replacement for the faulty part. FCEV trucks can continue to be produced, as they carry a different battery pack.

Nikola says the trucks can continue to be used. Still, users are encouraged to take additional safety precautions, like switching on the main battery disconnect and parking the truck outside when not in use, also to improve over-the-air connectivity.

Rocky road

This is the latest in a series of crises that Nikola has experienced lately. In August, the third CEO in four years left the company, while the partnership with Iveco has since been dissolved, and the company continues to look for critical additional capital, according to Reuters.

Shares also fell by 5,6% after the recall news, although they have since recovered to around 2% under the previous price.


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