Nikola Motors is suing Tesla for infringing on its patented truck design, even if it is a little weird.
Nikola wants $2 billion for the alleged infringement, even though neither company has sold a single one of the industry-changing vehicles. The complaint claims that Tesla’s stock bumped up $2 billion after unveiling the allegedly infringing prototype.
There’s no telling what will be sparked by this lawsuit, but industry watchers say Nikola Tesla must be rolling over in his grave about now.
The lawsuit says the Nikola One and Tesla Semi look too similar. They both feature low-slung profiles and sloped-back cabins.
Nikola’s design patents describe a “wrap windshield, mid-entry door, fuselage, fender, side cladding and the overall design of a semi.” That, the company says, is unique in the industry.
The design, however, is not what holds out promise for the future of trucking. It’s the possibility for alternative power.
Zero emission, hydrogen fuel-cells are the thing for Nikola. The company says it will start delivering trucks in 2021.
Tesla offers the electric alternative. It recently sent two trucks on a test drive from Nevada to California.
According to reports, Tesla is not worried about the Nikola complaint. “It’s patently (no pun intended) obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit,” a spokesperson told ArsTechnica.
However, the ezine noted another problem. “Somewhere, the ghost of Nikola Tesla is feeling very conflicted,” Megan Geuss wrote.