Hydrogen Truck Startup Files $2 Billion Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Tesla

Nikola Motor Company, a startup that focuses on hydrogen and electric vehicles, recently filed a $2 billion lawsuit in Arizona, which alleges that the all-electric Semi that Tesla developed infringes on its hydrogen truck patents. Nikola alleges multiple claims in its complaint, which the company asserts prove that Tesla copied from its patents. Some of Nikola’s claims point to alleged similarities between both company’s electric truck front fenders, their wraparound windshields, mid-entry doors, and aerodynamic fuselage. Nikola additionally claims that a Tesla recruiter attempted to poach its chief engineer shortly after the startup company announced its hydrogen semi truck.

A spokesperson for Tesla stated that the company believes there is no merit to Nikola’s lawsuit but declined to comment further on the suit’s merits.

Nikola was founded in 2014. Its first products were unveiled in May 2016, both of which were electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles. Since then, the startup has confirmed it is developing a second semi truck. It has plans to build a $1 billion factory in Arizona and has additionally hinted at the development of various all-electric personal watercraft vehicles.

See Nikola Corporation v. Tesla Incorporated on Justia Dockets.

Additional Reading

Tesla sued for $2 billion by hydrogen truck startup over alleged patent infringement, The Verge, May 1, 2018

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