- Nikola, the electric truck manufacturer, in June reported a fire around its global headquarters in Phoenix.
- Five electric trucks were burned in the incident, the company confirmed, though no injuries were reported.
- The company took to Twitter to announce that it suspected foul play was involved in starting the fire.
UPDATE 7/24/23: One of the previously damaged trucks from the June fire described below reignited on Sunday. This occurred at Nikola’s headquarters, according to Reuters. In a statement to Car and Driver, Nikola confirmed the event, saying tat there were no injuries and that the fire was quickly extinguished by the Phoenix Fire Department. “This truck was severely damaged in the original incident and was being monitored closely,” the company said. “In situations such as this where a battery-electric vehicle has had its system compromised during an incident, it is known to have a higher-than-normal likelihood to reignite, which is why our safety and engineering teams were monitoring as our investigation continues.”
Commercial electric truck startup Nikola on Friday reported a fire around its Phoenix, Arizona, headquarters. Multiple electric trucks were burned in the fire, though no injuries have been reported from the scene.
Following the fire, the company took to its official Twitter account to announce that it suspects foul play took place in the starting of the fire. “Foul play is suspected as a vehicle was seen in the area of the affected trucks just prior to the incident and an investigation is underway,” the company said on Twitter.
A spokesperson for Nikola confirmed the language in the tweet in speaking with Automotive News about the fire. “Once the situation is further assessed, we will have more information,” Nikola spokesperson Nicole Rose told the business publication.
Additionally, the Phoenix Fire Department released a video on Twitter, announcing that hazardous materials crews are at the scene of the fire. The tweet included video from the Nikola headquarters showing at least three of the startup’s trucks were involved in the fire. A company spokesperson confirmed to Car and Driver that a total of five vehicles were involved in the incident.
The fire comes as further setback for the young manufacturer, which announced 270 layoffs last week with 150 employees at its European factory and 120 at its Phoenix and Coolidge, Arizona, facilities affected by the layoffs. The company has already had its share of woes, scrapping plans for a consumer-focused electric pickup truck before production began and having a former chairman charged with three counts of criminal fraud by the Department of Justice.
According to a report by Reuters, the manufacturer has produced 63 Tre battery-electric trucks, delivering to 31 dealers in the first three months of the year. The company had reportedly paused production at its factory in Coolidge, Arizona, and was set to resume making trucks in July, according to the company’s statements last month. It is unclear if the fire will impact future production for the company.
This story was originally published June 23, 2023.
Associate News Editor
Jack Fitzgerald’s love for cars stems from his as yet unshakable addiction to Formula 1.
After a brief stint as a detailer for a local dealership group in college, he knew he needed a more permanent way to drive all the new cars he couldn’t afford and decided to pursue a career in auto writing. By hounding his college professors at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he was able to travel Wisconsin seeking out stories in the auto world before landing his dream job at Car and Driver. His new goal is to delay the inevitable demise of his 2010 Volkswagen Golf.