Tesla Sued by Nikola Motor for $2 Billion on Patent Infringement

Tesla's first electric truck, the Semi, is probably less than two years away from entering service in various fleets across the U.S. Capable of carrying up to 80.000 lbs (36 tons) of cargo with ease, the model promises to be a revolution in the field of freight transportation.
Nikola One vs Tesla Semi in patent suit 11 photos
Photo: Nikola/Tesla
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The dream of having electric trucks on the road soon might be hampered by a company few have heard of until now. The company in question, Nikola Motor, filed a suit in Arizona on Tuesday saying Tesla has stolen some of its ideas.

Yes, you read it right, Tesla is being sued by Nikola.

According to MarketWatch, the rival company is asking $2 billion in damages from Tesla, claiming the design of the Semi has been unlawfully inspired by the one of the electric truck in unveiled back in 2016.

Truth be told, as far as the design of the two trucks goes, there are indeed similarities. Then again, there are similarities between all the regular trucks on the roads today, regardless of the company that makes them.

Even so, Nikola claims it sent a cease-and-desist letter to Elon Musk’s company back in 2017, asking for a revision of how the windshield, mid-entry door and body of the Semi were built.

Nikola says the alleged copied design of the Semi has created confusion on the market between the two trucks and caused it to lose potential investments.

Two years after the unveiling of the One electric truck, we’ve failed to spot one on the roads. The company claimed at one point 7,000 pre-orders were received for the model, but no one knows what happened to them.

According to statements made over the years, Nikola plans to start production of the electric truck sometime in 2021. The facility where it will manufacture the trucks does not yet exist, and apparently, neither does the money for it.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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