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Nikola sues Tesla for $2 billion over electric truck design

A hydrogen truck startup has sued electric vehicle maker Tesla for £2 billion over allegedly copying their designs for the Tesla Semi.

Nikola Motor Company – which uses the first name of the famous inventor that Elon Musk’s company is named after – claims that three design patents of its Nikola One truck were borrowed for Tesla’s truck, which was unveiled one year after the alternative fuel vehicle.

“The Tesla Semi is substantially similar to Nikola’s unique design, and Tesla copied Nikola’s patents,” the lawsuit states. [1]

“Tesla’s infringement has harmed Nikola’s plans by causing confusion in the market… The confusion has diverted sales from Nikola to Tesla. Further, any problems with the Tesla Semi will be attributed to the Nikola One, causing harm to the Nikola brand.”

The Nikola One truck (left) and the Tesla Semi.

Nikola Motors claims Tesla copied the design of their truck (Nikola/ Tesla/ Composite)

The three patents allegedly stolen include the wrap-around windshield, the aerodynamic fuselage and the mid-entry door – all of which Nikola claims are “unique in the trucking industry.”

Over a year before Tesla unveiled its truck, Nikola Motor Company tweeted an image of its first truck, tagging Mr Musk’s twitter account.

6 electric motors and two speed. One each wheel.

2,000 HP. Torque vectoring.

320kWh lithium pack. @elonmusk proud? pic.twitter.com/6QMp4lfwTC[2][3]

— Nikola Motor Company (@nikolamotor) May 10, 2016[4]

The tweet is included as evidence in the lawsuit that Mr Musk was aware of the design of the Nikola One design.

The lawsuit comes as Mr Musk prepares to announce the company’s quarterly earning figures, during which he is expected to address production issues of the Model 3 electric car.

Delays for the firm’s first mass-market electric vehicle have helped contribute to a significant drop in Tesla’s share price, which has fallen by around a quarter since September.

Tesla is yet to make an annual profit and recorded a £675 million loss for the quarter of 2017, despite making £2.7 billion revenue.

Mr Musk has previously joked about his company’s perilous financial situation.

On 1 April, 2018, he tweeted:: “Tesla goes bankrupt… Despite intense efforts to raise money, including a last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs, we are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt. So bankrupt, you can’t believe it.”

The Independent’s bitcoin group on Facebook is the best place to follow the latest discussions and developments in cryptocurrency.

Join here for the latest on how people are making money – and how they’re losing it.[5]

References

  1. ^ the lawsuit states (www.scribd.com)
  2. ^ @elonmusk (twitter.com)
  3. ^ pic.twitter.com/6QMp4lfwTC (t.co)
  4. ^ May 10, 2016 (twitter.com)
  5. ^ The Independent’s bitcoin group on Facebook is the best place to follow the latest discussions and developments in cryptocurrency.

    Join here for the latest on how people are making money – and how they’re losing it. (www.facebook.com)



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