Fuel-cell startup accusing EV specialist of copying its patented designs
Nikola has filed a lawsuit against Tesla, claiming the Silicon Valley-based electric vehicle (EV) firm copied the design of its One fuel-cell truck for the Semi.
The company is suing for US$2 billion ($2.66b) over alleged copying of design elements like the One's wraparound windscreen, aerodynamic fuselage design, the mid-entry door to the cabin, and front fender.
The US$2 billion figure is reportedly around the same value as Tesla's market cap after the Semi was revealed.
However, a Tesla spokesperson told the US's Market Watch that "it’s patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit".
Nikola first revealed the One in December 2016, featuring a 746kW/2700Nm hydrogen fuel-cell electric system, while the Tesla Semi made its debut nearly a year later in November 2017 – and while Elon Musk's company doesn't quote outputs, it claims the Semi will do 0-60mph (0-96km/h) without a trailer in 5.0 seconds.