Founder of Electric Truck Company Nikola Now World’s 188th Richest Person After IPO

Wall Street is very fond of Nikola. Can it transform trucking with EVs and hydrogen?

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Founder of Electric Truck Company Nikola Now World’s 188th Richest Person After IPO © Founder of Electric Truck Company Nikola Now World’s 188th Richest Person After IPO

Good morning and welcome back to Speed Lines, The Drive's morning roundup of what matters most in the world of cars and transportation. Summer is officially here, I'd say. Today we're talking about Nikola Corporation's big valuation, Honda gets hit with a cyberattack, and the long road to electric vehicle dominance. 

Electric Truck Maker Nikola Brings A Ton Of Investor Optimism

Nikola doesn't say this explicitly, of course, but it wants to do for trucking what Tesla did for the car industry. It's planning a big foray into electric and hydrogen-powered semi-trucks, as well as the pickup truck concept you see above called the Badger. The Arizona-based company had its initial public offering last week, and since then its share price has more than doubled, CNBC reports. The company now has a $26.3 billion market valuation.

And as Bloomberg notes, the growth has put Nikola founder Trevor Milton's fortune at $9 billion, making him the 188th richest person in the world. (That's according to Bloomberg, of course, but I suppose they're good at paying attention to such things.) Reservations for the Badger open at the end of this month, and the company is working on its trucking fleet, as well as charging and fueling infrastructure to support it. The company expects to start generating revenue in 2021.

Still, it's now expected to become the next darling of speculative traders and short-sellers, much as Tesla is (they're even both named after the same guy.) Both the company's product output and stock price will be something to watch this year and next. Let's just hope Milton's Twitter game is way more chill than Elon Musk's, though. I don't know if I have the mental bandwidth to deal with two of them.

Honda Vs. The Cyber

Automakers have enough problems with the pandemic. Add one other worry to Honda's list: a ransomware attack, which reportedly brought parts of its entire global operation to a standstill on Monday. A number of facets of its business were disrupted, including factories and online financial services. 

Tech Crunch has some details on what may have happened here:

It's not clear why Honda was targeted, but cyber attacks are on the rise this year

GM's Mary Barra: Fully Electric Cars In 20+ Years, AVs Sooner

General Motors' current guiding ethos is Zero, Zero, Zero: Crashes, emissions, congestion. To pull off the second one it's planning on eventually transitioning its entire passenger vehicle output to EVs. What's the timeline on that? According to CEO Mary Barra, speaking at a Bloomberg event, we're talking longer than you may think: probably on the other side of 20 years.

Here's Automotive News:

As for the latter, Barra thinks we will see that within five years. That's a little more optimistic than I would expect. 

On Our Radar

Nissan recalls nearly 1.9M cars for pesky hood latch problem (AP)

VW's Diess was stripped of key role amid infighting, reports say (Automotive News)

Men accused of helping ex-Nissan boss flee Japan challenge U.S. extradition case (Reuters)

Read These To Seem Smart And Interesting

In Klamath Falls, Oregon, victory declared over Antifa, which never showed up (NBC News)

Data suggests it's "very rare" for coronavirus to spread through asymptomatics (Axios)

Rats Have Not Changed. We Have. (The Atlantic)

Your Turn

When does the U.S. vehicle market go fully electric? Can that ever happen?

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