Building on its earlier announcements relating to the release of a hydrogen fuel cell powered Class 8 semi truck, and also 8,000 pre-orders, Nikola Motor Company has now unveiled plans relating to the development of a $1 billion manufacturing facility near Phoenix, Arizona.
The plan is reportedly for a 500-acre (202-hectare) facility to build the company’s planned hydrogen-fueled semi trucks and associated tech. If completed, the facility will represent one of the largest semi-truck manufacturing plants in the world, according to the company.
“After 12 months, nine states and 30 site locations, Arizona, Governor Ducey, Sandra Watson and Chris Camacho were the clear front runners. Arizona has the workforce to support our growth and a governor that was an entrepreneur himself. They understood what 2,000 jobs would mean to their cities and state,” said Trevor Milton, CEO and founder, Nikola Motor Company. “We will begin transferring our R&D and headquarters to Arizona immediately and hope to have the transition completed by October 2018. We have already begun planning the construction for our new zero emission manufacturing facility in Buckeye, which we expect to have underway by the end of 2019.”
The company remains as hard to pin down as ever. In other words: How much of what’s been announced is meant to draw investors? And how much is serious? — but the same could perhaps be said of Tesla. It’ll be interesting to see if either firm manages to achieve their timelines for their semi truck offerings?
The timing of the announcement is notable, as it seems to be at least somewhat a response to all of the PR surrounding the unveiling of the Tesla Semi Truck a few months ago — in others words, a way of reigniting investor interest in the company. Or maybe that’s just a sign of the industry shifting at the same time.
Reuters provides more context: “It also comes as companies like Navistar International Corp and Volkswagen AG are working to launch electric medium-duty trucks by late 2019, and Daimler AG has delivered the first of a smaller range of electric trucks to customers in New York.”
Back to the company announcement, it added: “Development of the one-million square foot manufacturing plant on a 500-acre parcel at Sun Valley Parkway and the future Wintersburg Parkway is projected to begin by the end of 2019. The site is at one of the entrances to Douglas Ranch/Trillium, a new master planned community being developed by El Dorado.”
“Conceived as the prototype ‘Smart City,’ Trillium at Douglas Ranch aligns well with Nikola Motors groundbreaking technology,” said Jerry Colangelo, Co-Founder & Partner with David Eaton and Mel Shultz of JDM Partners.