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Table of Contents
As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on
July 22, 2021.
Registration
No. 333-          
 
 
 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM
S-1
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
Nikola Corporation
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
 
Delaware
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
  
3711
(Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code No.)
  
82-4151153
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
4141 E Broadway Road
Phoenix, AZ 85040
(480) 666-1038
(Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, Including Area Code, of Registrant’s Principal Executive Offices)
Britton M. Worthen, Esq.
Chief Legal Officer
Nikola Corporation
4141 E Broadway Road
Phoenix, AZ 85040
(480) 666-1038
(Name, Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, Including Area Code, of Agent for Service)
Copies to:
 
Stanley F. Pierson, Esq.
Gabriella A. Lombardi, Esq.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
2550 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Tel:
(650) 233-4500
Fax:
(650) 233-4545
 
 
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public:
From time to time after this registration statement becomes effective, as determined by the Selling Stockholder
s
.
If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, please check the following box.   ☒
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.   ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.   ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.   ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a
non-accelerated
filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in
Rule 12b-2
under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934:
 
Large accelerated filer
  ☒
   Accelerated filer
   ☐
                
  
Non-accelerated filer
   ☐
                
  
Smaller reporting 
 company   
Emerging growth 
 company   
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.   ☐
 
 
CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
 
 
Title of Each Class of Securities
to be Registered
 
Amount to
be Registered
(1)
 
Proposed
Maximum
Offering Price
Per Share
(2)
 
Proposed
Maximum
Aggregate
Offering Price
 
Amount of
Registration Fee
Common Stock, $0.0001 par value per share
 
1,682, 367
 
$13.60
 
$22,880,191
 
$2,496
 
 
 
(1)
Pursuant to Rule 416(a) under the Securities Act of 1933, the registrant is also registering hereunder an indeterminate number of shares that may be issued and resold resulting from stock splits, stock dividends or similar transactions.
 
(2)
Estimated solely for the purpose of computing the amount of the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(c) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the proposed maximum offering price per share is $13.60, which is the average of the high and low prices of the common stock on July 19, 2021 on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.
 
 
 
 
The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. Neither we nor the Selling Stockholders may sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.
 
PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS (SUBJECT TO COMPLETION)
DATED JULY
22, 2021
 
 
1,682,367 Shares
Nikola Corporation
Common Stock
 
 
This prospectus relates to the offer and sale from time to time by the selling stockholders named in this prospectus, or the Selling Stockholders, of up to 1,682,367 shares of our common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, or the Shares. For purposes of this prospectus, the term “Selling Stockholders” includes donees, pledgees, transferees or other successors in interest selling Shares received after the date of this prospectus from a Selling Stockholder as a gift, pledge, partnership distribution or other transfer.
The Shares have been issued pursuant to the Membership Interests Purchase Agreement, or the MIPA, dated June 22, 2021, that we entered into with Wabash Valley Resources LLC, or WVR, and the sellers party thereto. We are not selling any securities under this prospectus and will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of our common stock by the Selling Stockholders. Pursuant to the MIPA, on June 22, 2021, we purchased a 20% equity interest in WVR in exchange for $25 million in cash and the issuance of an aggregate of 1,682,367 shares of our common stock. See the section titled “Selling Stockholders” for additional information regarding the Selling Stockholders.
Our registration of the securities covered by this prospectus does not mean that the Selling Stockholders will offer or sell any of the shares. The Selling Stockholders may sell the shares of common stock covered by this prospectus in a number of different ways and at varying prices. We provide more information about how the Selling Stockholders may sell the shares in the section entitled “Plan of Distribution.”
Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “NKLA.” On July 21, 2021, the closing price of our common stock was $14.84.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
 
 
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. See the section entitled “Risk Factors” beginning on page 8 and in the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus. You should carefully consider these risk factors, as well as the other information contained in this prospectus, before you invest.
 
 
The date of this prospectus is                , 2021.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
Neither we, nor the Selling Stockholders, have authorized anyone to provide you with any information or to make any representations other than those contained in this prospectus. We and the Selling Stockholders do not take responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. This prospectus is an offer to sell only the securities offered hereby and only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where it is lawful to do so. No dealer, salesperson or other person is authorized to give any information or to represent anything not contained in this prospectus. This prospectus is not an offer to sell securities, and it is not soliciting an offer to buy securities, in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. You should assume that the information appearing in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date on the front of this prospectus only, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or any sale of a security. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates.
This prospectus includes industry and market data that we obtained from third-party studies and surveys, filings of public companies in our industry and internal company surveys. These sources may include government and industry sources. Industry publications and surveys generally state that the information contained therein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Although we believe the industry and market data to be reliable as of the date of this prospectus, this information could prove to be inaccurate. Industry and market data could be wrong because of the method by which sources obtained their data and because information cannot always be verified with complete certainty due to the limits on the availability and reliability of raw data, the voluntary nature of the data gathering process and other limitations and uncertainties. In addition, we do not know all of the assumptions regarding general economic conditions or growth that were used in preparing the forecasts from the sources relied upon or cited herein.
On June 3, 2020, or the Closing Date, VectoIQ Acquisition Corp., our predecessor company, or VectoIQ, consummated the previously announced merger pursuant to that certain Business Combination Agreement, dated March 2, 2020, or the Business Combination Agreement, by and among VectoIQ, VCTIQ Merger Sub Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of VectoIQ incorporated in the State of Delaware, or Merger Sub, and Nikola Corporation, a Delaware corporation, or Legacy Nikola. Pursuant to the terms of the Business Combination Agreement, a business combination between the company and Legacy Nikola was effected through the merger of Merger Sub with and into Legacy Nikola, with Legacy Nikola surviving as the surviving company and as a wholly-owned subsidiary of VectoIQ, or the Merger and, collectively with the other transactions described in the
Business Combination Agreement, the Business Combination. On the Closing Date, and in connection with the closing of the Business Combination, VectoIQ Acquisition Corp. changed its name to Nikola Corporation.
Unless the context indicates otherwise, references in this prospectus to the “company,” “Nikola,” “we,” “us,” “our” and similar terms refer to Nikola Corporation (f/k/a VectoIQ Acquisition Corp.) and its consolidated subsidiaries, including Legacy Nikola. References to “VectoIQ” refer to our predecessor company prior to the consummation of the Business Combination.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements relate to future periods, future events or our future operating or financial plans or performance. When used in this prospectus, the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “project,” “forecast,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “seeks,” “scheduled,” “will,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, and include but are not limited to:
 
   
our financial and business performance;
 
   
changes in our strategy, future operations, financial position, estimated revenues and losses, projected costs, prospects and plans;
 
   
our future capital requirements and sources and uses of cash;
 
   
litigation, complaints, product liability claims and/or adverse publicity;
 
   
the implementation, market acceptance and success of our business model;
 
   
developments relating to our competitors and industry;
 
   
the impact of health epidemics, including the
COVID-19
pandemic, on our business and the actions we may take in response thereto;
 
   
our expectations regarding our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection and not infringe on the rights of others;
 
   
our ability to obtain funding for our operations;
 
   
the outcome of any known and unknown regulatory proceedings;
 
   
our business, expansion plans and opportunities; and
 
   
changes in applicable laws or regulations.
These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or otherwise implied by the forward-looking statements, including the following:
 
   
our ability to execute our business model, including market acceptance of our planned products and services;
 
   
changes in applicable laws or regulations;
 
   
the effect of the
COVID-19
pandemic on our business;
 
   
our ability to raise capital;
 
   
the possibility that we may be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors; and
 
   
other risks and uncertainties described in the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, including those under the section entitled “Risk Factors.”
Given these risks and uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this prospectus. Except as required under the federal securities laws and rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, we expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
You should read this prospectus completely and with the understanding that our actual future results, levels of activity and performance as well as other events and circumstances may be materially different from what we expect. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.
 
1

Table of Contents
PROSPECTUS SUMMARY
This summary highlights selected information appearing elsewhere in this prospectus and does not contain all of the information that you should consider before investing in our common stock. Because it is a summary, it may not contain all of the information that may be important to you. To understand this offering fully, you should read this entire prospectus carefully, including the sections entitled “Risk Factors,” “Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Financial Information,” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.
Nikola Corporation
We are a technology innovator and integrator, working to develop innovative energy and transportation solutions. We are pioneering a business model that will enable corporate customers to integrate next-generation truck technology, hydrogen fueling infrastructure, and related maintenance. By creating this ecosystem, we and our strategic business partners and suppliers hope to build a long-term competitive advantage for clean technology vehicles and next generation fueling solutions.
Our expertise lies in design, innovation, and software and engineering. We assemble, integrate, and commission our vehicles in collaboration with our business partners and suppliers. Our approach has always been to leverage strategic partnerships to help lower cost, increase capital efficiency and increase speed to market.
Summary Risk Factors
Investing in our common stock involves substantial risk, as more fully described in “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus. You should read these risks before you invest in our common stock. We may be unable, for many reasons, including those that are beyond our control, to implement our business strategy. Some of the more significant risks associated with our business include the following:
 
   
We are an early stage company with a history of losses, and expect to incur significant expenses and continuing losses for the foreseeable future.
 
   
We may be unable to adequately control the costs associated with our operations.
 
   
Our business model has yet to be tested and any failure to commercialize our strategic plans would have an adverse effect on our operating results and business, harm our reputation and could result in substantial liabilities that exceed our resources.
 
   
Our limited operating history makes evaluating our business and future prospects difficult and may increase the risk of your investment.
 
   
We will need to raise additional funds and these funds may not be available to us when we need them. If we cannot raise additional funds when we need them, our operations and prospects could be negatively affected.
 
   
If we fail to manage our future growth effectively, we may not be able to market and sell our vehicles successfully.
 
   
Our bundled lease model may present unique problems that may have an adverse effect on our operating results and business and harm our reputation.
 
   
We may face legal challenges in one or more states attempting to sell directly to customers which could materially adversely affect our costs.
 
 
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Table of Contents
   
We face risks and uncertainties related to litigation, regulatory actions and government investigations and inquiries.
 
   
Our success will depend on our ability to economically manufacture our trucks at scale and build our hydrogen fueling stations to meet our customers’ business needs, and our ability to develop and manufacture trucks of sufficient quality and appeal to customers on schedule and at scale is unproven.
 
   
We may experience significant delays in the design, manufacture, launch and financing of our trucks, including in the build out of our manufacturing plant, which could harm our business and prospects.
Background
Our company was originally known as VectoIQ Acquisition Corp. On June 3, 2020, VectoIQ consummated the Business Combination with Legacy Nikola pursuant to the Business Combination Agreement dated as of March 2, 2020 among VectoIQ, Legacy Nikola and Merger Sub. In connection with the closing of the Business Combination, VectoIQ changed its name to Nikola Corporation. Legacy Nikola was deemed to be the accounting acquirer in the Merger. While VectoIQ was the legal acquirer in the Merger, because Legacy Nikola was deemed the accounting acquirer, the historical financial statements of Legacy Nikola became the historical financial statements of the combined company, upon the consummation of the Merger.
Immediately prior to the effective time of the Merger, each issued and outstanding share of Legacy Nikola preferred stock converted into an equal number of shares of Legacy Nikola common stock. At the effective time of the Merger, each share of Legacy Nikola common stock issued and outstanding immediately prior to the effective time, including the converted Legacy Nikola preferred stock, converted into the right to receive 1.901 shares of our common stock.
Our common stock is currently listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “NKLA.”
Corporate Information
We are a Delaware corporation and were incorporated as VectoIQ Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, in January 2018. VectoIQ completed its initial public offering in May 2018. On June 3, 2020, VectoIQ consummated the Business Combination and, in connection therewith, (i) VectoIQ’s wholly-owned subsidiary merged with and into Legacy Nikola, whereby Legacy Nikola survived the Merger and was deemed the accounting predecessor of the Merger and will be the successor registrant for SEC purposes and (ii) we changed our name to “Nikola Corporation.” Upon consummation of the foregoing transactions, Legacy Nikola became our wholly-owned subsidiary.
Our principal executive offices are located at 4141 E Broadway Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85040. Our telephone number is
(480) 666-1038.
Our website address is www.nikolamotor.com. Information contained on our website or connected thereto does not constitute part of, and is not incorporated by reference into, this prospectus or the registration statement of which it forms a part.
 
 
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THE OFFERING
 
Shares Offered by the Selling Stockholders
1,682,367 Shares.
 
Common stock outstanding immediately prior to and after this offering
397,077,561.
 
Use of proceeds
We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of the Shares by the Selling Stockholders.
 
Risk factors
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” and the other information included in this prospectus for a discussion of factors you should consider carefully before deciding to invest in our common stock.
 
The Nasdaq Global Select Market trading symbol
“NKLA.”
The number of shares of common stock to be outstanding immediately prior to and after this offering is based on 397,077,561 shares of common stock outstanding as of June 30, 2021 and excludes:
 
   
29,559,690 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of outstanding options granted under Legacy Nikola’s 2017 Stock Option Plan, or our 2017 Option Plan, with a weighted-average exercise price of $1.29 per share;
 
   
18,376,584 shares available for future issuance under our 2020 Stock Incentive Plan, or 2020 Stock Plan;
 
   
4,000,000 shares available for future issuance under our 2020 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or 2020 ESPP;
 
   
23,262,974 shares underlying restricted stock units, or RSUs, granted pursuant to our 2020 Stock Plan; and
 
   
760,915 shares issuable upon the exercise of outstanding private warrants to purchase common stock, with an exercise price of $11.50 per share.
Also excluded are up to 17,857,142 shares of common stock that are issuable to Tumim Stone Capital LLC, or Tumim, pursuant to the Common Stock Purchase Agreement, or the Tumim Purchase Agreement. Such shares have been registered for resale by Tumim under a registration statement on Form
S-1.
Throughout this prospectus, when we refer to the shares of our common stock being registered on behalf of the Selling Stockholders, we are referring to all shares of common stock reported to us as held by the Selling Stockholders as of July 22, 2021. We agreed to file this prospectus pursuant to the MIPA. Additional information with respect to the Selling Stockholders is contained in this prospectus under the heading “Selling Stockholders.”
When we refer to the Selling Stockholders in this prospectus, we are referring to the individuals and entities named in this prospectus as the Selling Stockholders and, as applicable, any donees, pledgees, transferees or other
successors-in-interest
selling shares of common stock or interests in shares of common stock received after the date of this prospectus from the Selling Stockholders as a gift, pledge, partnership distribution or other
non-sale
related transfer.
 
 
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SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
The following summary consolidated financial information set forth below should be read in conjunction with the section entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our historical consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto contained elsewhere in this prospectus.
The summary consolidated financial information and other data presented below for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, and as of March 31, 2021, have been derived from our unaudited financial statements included in this prospectus. The summary consolidated financial information for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, and the summary consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included in this prospectus. Our unaudited consolidated financial statements have been prepared on the same basis as our audited consolidated financial statements and reflect, in the opinion of our management, all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring adjustments, considered necessary for a fair presentation of this data. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in the future and our results for any interim period are not necessarily indicative of results that may be expected for any full fiscal year.
 
   
Three Months Ended March 31,
   
Years Ended December 31,
 
   
        2021        
   
        2020        
   
2020
   
2019
   
2018
 
   
(in thousands)
   
(in thousands)
 
Statement of Operations Data:
         
Loss from operations
    (120,590     (31,997     (382,735     (87,995     (70,489
Other income (expense):
         
Interest income (expense), net
    (9     62       202       1,456       686  
Revaluation of Series A redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liability
                      (3,339     3,502  
Loss on forward contract liability
          (1,324     (1,324            
Revaluation of warrant liability
    951             13,448              
Other income (expense), net
    219       114       (846     1,373       6  
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Loss from operations before income taxes and equity in net loss of affiliate
    (119,429     (33,145     (371,255     (88,505     (66,295
Income tax expense (benefit)
    1       1       (1,026     151       (2,002
Equity in net loss of affiliate
    (794           (637            
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Net loss
    (120,224     (33,146     (370,866     (88,656     (64,293
Premium paid on repurchase of redeemable convertible preferred stock
                (13,407     (16,816     (166
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Net loss attributable to common stockholders
  $ (120,224   $ (33,146   $ (384,273   $ (105,472   $ (64,459
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
    
As of March 31,
    
As of December 31,
 
    
2021
    
2020
    
2019
 
    
(in thousands)
    
(in thousands)
 
Balance Sheet Data:
        
Cash and cash equivalents
   $ 763,750      $ 840,913      $ 85,688  
Working capital
     733,424        844,644        74,343  
Total assets
     1,003,318        1,053,713        229,430  
Total liabilities
     91,035        73,572        33,922  
Total stockholders’ equity
     912,283        980,141        195,508  
 
 
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Three Months Ended March 31,
   
Years Ended December 31,
 
    
        2021        
   
        2020        
   
        2020        
   
        2019        
   
        2018        
 
    
(in thousands)
   
(in thousands)
 
Statement of Cash Flows Data:
          
Net cash used in operating activities
   $ (59,249   $ (21,897   $ (150,533   $ (80,627   $ (54,019
Net cash used in investing activities
     (24,521     (1,439     (31,141     (39,302     (15,410
Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities
     (1,758     13,151       941,120       35,805       211,732  
 
 
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SUMMARY UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
The following summary unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial data, or the summary pro forma data, gives effect to the Business Combination described in the section entitled “Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Financial Information.” The Business Combination was accounted for as a reverse recapitalization, with no goodwill or other intangible assets recorded, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. Under this method of accounting, VectoIQ has been treated as the “acquired” company for financial reporting purposes. Accordingly, for accounting purposes, the Business Combination has been treated as the equivalent of Legacy Nikola issuing stock for the net assets of VectoIQ, accompanied by a recapitalization. The net assets of VectoIQ are stated at historical cost, with no goodwill or other intangible assets recorded. The summary unaudited pro forma condensed combined statement of operations data for the year ended December 31, 2020 give pro forma effect to the Business Combination as if it had occurred on January 1, 2020.
The summary pro forma data have been derived from, and should be read in conjunction with, the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information of the combined company appearing elsewhere in this prospectus and the accompanying notes. The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information is based upon, and should be read in conjunction with, the historical consolidated financial statements of VectoIQ and Legacy Nikola and related notes included in this prospectus. The summary pro forma data have been presented for informational purposes only and are not necessarily indicative of what the combined company’s financial position or results of operations actually would have been had the Business Combination and the other transactions contemplated by the Business Combination Agreement been completed as of the dates indicated. In addition, the summary pro forma data do not purport to project the future financial position or operating results of the combined company.
The following table presents summary pro forma data after giving effect to the Business Combination:
 
    
(in thousands, except
per share data)
 
Summary Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Statement of Operations Data Year Ended December 31, 2020
  
Revenue
   $ 95  
Net loss per share—basic
   $ (1.14
Net loss per share—diluted
   $ (1.17
Weighted-average shares outstanding—basic
     371,420,779  
Weighted-average shares outstanding—diluted
     371,926,541  
 
 
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RISK FACTORS
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. Before you make a decision to buy our common stock, in addition to the risks and uncertainties discussed above under “Forward-Looking Statements,” you should carefully consider the risks set forth herein. If any of these risks actually occur, it may materially harm our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations. As a result, the market price of our common stock could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment. Additionally, the risks and uncertainties described in this prospectus are not the only risks and uncertainties that we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe to be immaterial may become material and adversely affect our business.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
We are an early stage company with a history of losses, and expect to incur significant expenses and continuing losses for the foreseeable future.
We incurred net losses of $370.9 million and $120.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 and for the three months ended March 31, 2021, respectively, and have incurred net losses of approximately $680.4 million from Legacy Nikola’s inception through March 31, 2021. We believe that we will continue to incur operating and net losses each quarter until at least the time we begin significant deliveries of our trucks, which is not expected to begin at least until 2022 for our battery electric vehicle, or BEV, truck and the second half of 2023 and 2024 for our Tre hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, or FCEV, truck and Two FCEV truck, respectively, and may occur later. Even if we are able to successfully develop and sell or lease our trucks, there can be no assurance that they will be commercially successful. Our potential profitability is dependent upon the successful development and successful commercial introduction and acceptance of our trucks and our hydrogen station platform, which may not occur.
We expect the rate at which we will incur losses to be significantly high in future periods as we:
 
   
design, develop and manufacture our trucks;
 
   
construct and equip our manufacturing plant to produce our trucks in Arizona;
 
   
modify and equip the Iveco manufacturing plant in Germany to produce our trucks in Europe;
 
   
build up inventories of parts and components for our trucks;
 
   
manufacture an available inventory of our trucks;
 
   
develop and deploy our hydrogen fueling stations;
 
   
expand our design, development, maintenance and repair capabilities;
 
   
increase our sales and marketing activities and develop our distribution infrastructure; and
 
   
increase our general and administrative functions to support our growing operations.
Because we will incur the costs and expenses from these efforts before we receive any incremental revenue with respect thereto, our losses in future periods will be significant. In addition, we may find that these efforts are more expensive than we currently anticipate or that these efforts may not result in revenue, which would further increase our losses.
We may be unable to adequately control the costs associated with our operations.
We will require significant capital to develop and grow our business, including developing and manufacturing our trucks, building our manufacturing plant and building our brand. We expect to incur significant expenses which will impact our profitability, including research and development expenses, raw
 
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material procurement costs, leases, sales and distribution expenses as we build our brand and market our trucks and bundled leasing model, and general and administrative expenses as we scale our operations. In addition, we may incur significant costs in connection with our services, including building our hydrogen fueling stations and honoring our maintenance commitments under our bundled lease model. Our ability to become profitable in the future will not only depend on our ability to successfully market our vehicles and other products and services, but also to control our costs. If we are unable to cost efficiently design, manufacture, market, sell, distribute and service our trucks and services, our margins, profitability and prospects would be materially and adversely affected.
Our business model has yet to be tested and any failure to commercialize our strategic plans would have an adverse effect on our operating results and business, harm our reputation and could result in substantial liabilities that exceed our resources.
Investors should be aware of the difficulties normally encountered by a new enterprise, many of which are beyond our control, including substantial risks and expenses in the course of establishing or entering new markets, organizing operations and undertaking marketing activities. The likelihood of our success must be considered in light of these risks, expenses, complications, delays and the competitive environment in which we operate. There is, therefore, nothing at this time upon which to base an assumption that our business plan will prove successful, and we may not be able to generate significant revenue, raise additional capital or operate profitably. We will continue to encounter risks and difficulties frequently experienced by early commercial stage companies, including scaling up our infrastructure and headcount, and may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties or delays in connection with our growth. In addition, as a result of the capital-intensive nature of our business, we can be expected to continue to sustain substantial operating expenses without generating sufficient revenue to cover expenditures. Any investment in our company is therefore highly speculative and could result in the loss of your entire investment.
Our limited operating history makes evaluating our business and future prospects difficult and may increase the risk of your investment.
You must consider the risks and difficulties we face as an early stage company with a limited operating history. If we do not successfully address these risks, our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition will be materially and adversely harmed. We have a very limited operating history on which investors can base an evaluation of our business, operating results and prospects. We intend to derive substantially all of our revenue from the sale and lease of our vehicle platforms, which are still in the early stages of development. Our revenue will also depend on the sale of hydrogen fuel at our planned hydrogen fueling stations which we do not expect to be operational until 2023 or later. There are no assurances that we will be able to secure future business with the major trucking companies or with independent truck drivers.
It is difficult to predict our future revenue and appropriately budget for our expenses, and we have limited insight into trends that may emerge and affect our business. In the event that actual results differ from our estimates or we adjust our estimates in future periods, our operating results and financial position could be materially affected.
We will need to raise additional funds and these funds may not be available to us when we need them. If we cannot raise additional funds when we need them, our operations and prospects could be negatively affected.
The design, manufacture, lease, sale and servicing of vehicles and related hydrogen fueling stations is capital-intensive. We expect that we will have sufficient capital to fund our planned operations for the next 12 months. We will need to raise additional capital to scale our manufacturing and roll out our hydrogen fueling stations. We may raise additional funds through the issuance of equity, equity related or debt securities, or through obtaining credit from government or financial institutions. This capital will be necessary to fund our
 
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ongoing operations, continue research, development and design efforts, improve infrastructure, introduce new vehicles and build hydrogen fueling stations. We cannot be certain that additional funds will be available to us on favorable terms when required, or at all. If we cannot raise additional funds when we need them, our financial condition, results of operations, business and prospects could be materially adversely affected.
If we fail to manage our future growth effectively, we may not be able to market and sell our vehicles successfully.
Any failure to manage our growth effectively could materially and adversely affect our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition. We intend to expand our operations significantly. Our future expansion will include:
 
   
training new personnel;
 
   
forecasting production and revenue;
 
   
controlling expenses and investments in anticipation of expanded operations;
 
   
establishing or expanding design, manufacturing, sales and service facilities; and
 
   
implementing and enhancing administrative infrastructure, systems and processes.
We intend to continue to hire a significant number of additional personnel, including design and manufacturing personnel and service technicians for our trucks. Because our trucks are based on a different technology platform than traditional internal combustion engines, individuals with sufficient training in alternative fuel and electric vehicles may not be available to hire, and as a result, we will need to expend significant time and expense training the employees we do hire.
Our bundled lease model may present unique problems that may have an adverse effect on our operating results and business and harm our reputation.
Our bundled lease model, which, as currently planned, will provide customers with the FCEV truck, hydrogen fuel, and regularly scheduled maintenance for a fixed price per mile, is reliant on our ability to achieve a minimum hydrogen fuel efficiency in our FCEV trucks. If we are unable to achieve or maintain this fuel efficiency, we may be forced to provide our bundled lease customers with fuel at prices below-cost or risk damaging our relationships with our customers. Any such scenario would put our bundled lease model in jeopardy and may have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition.
We may face legal challenges in one or more states attempting to sell directly to customers, which could materially adversely affect our costs.
Our business plan includes the direct sale of vehicles to business customers, and potentially, to individual customers. Most, if not all, states require a license to sell vehicles within the state. Many states prohibit manufacturers from directly selling vehicles to customers. In other states, manufacturers must operate a physical dealership within the state to deliver vehicles to customers. As a result, we may not be able to sell directly to customers in each state in the United States.
We are currently not registered as a dealer in any state. In many states, it is unclear if, as a manufacturer, we will be able to obtain permission to sell and deliver vehicles directly to customers. For customers residing in states in which we will not be allowed to sell or deliver vehicles, we may have to arrange alternate methods of delivery of vehicles. This could include delivering vehicles to adjacent or nearby states in which we are allowed to directly sell and ship vehicles, and arranging for the customer to transport the vehicles to their home states. These workarounds could add significant complexity and, as a result, costs, to our business.
 
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We face risks and uncertainties related to litigation, regulatory actions and government investigations and inquiries.
We are subject to, and may become a party to, a variety of litigation, other claims, suits, regulatory actions and government investigations and inquiries. For example, in September 2020, Nikola and our officers and employees received subpoenas from the SEC as part of a fact-finding inquiry related to aspects of our business as well as certain matters described in an article issued on September 10, 2020 by Hindenburg Research LLC, or the Hindenburg article. The SEC issued subpoenas to our directors on September 30, 2020. In addition, Nikola and Trevor R. Milton also received grand jury subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the N.Y. County District Attorney’s Office in September 2020. We have cooperated, and will continue to cooperate, with these and any other regulatory or governmental requests. We have incurred significant expenses as a result of the regulatory and legal matters relating to the Hindenburg article. The total cost associated with these matters will depend on many factors, including the duration of these matters and any related finding.
Additionally, six putative class action lawsuits were filed against us and certain of our current and former officers and directors, asserting violations of federal securities laws under Section 10(b) and Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or the Exchange Act, and, in one case, violations of the Unfair Competition Law under California law, alleging that Nikola and certain of our officers and directors made false and/or misleading statements in press releases and public filings regarding our business plan and prospects. These lawsuits have been consolidated. Separately, three purported Nikola stockholder derivative actions were filed in the United States District Court, against certain of our current and former directors, alleging breaches of fiduciary duties, violations of Section 14(a) of the Exchange Act, and gross mismanagement, among other claims. We are unable to estimate the potential loss or range of loss, if any, associated with these lawsuits.
In addition, from time to time, we may also be involved in legal proceedings and investigations arising in the ordinary course of business, including those relating to employment matters, relationships with collaboration partners, intellectual property disputes, and other business matters. Any such claims or investigations may be time-consuming, costly, divert management resources, or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business or result of operations.
The results of litigation and other legal proceedings, including the other claims described under Legal Proceedings in Note 14, Commitments and Contingencies, to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus and Note 12, Commitments and Contingencies, to our unaudited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus and incorporated by reference herein, are inherently uncertain and adverse judgments or settlements in some or all of these legal disputes may result in materially adverse monetary damages or injunctive relief against us. Any claims or litigation, even if fully indemnified or insured, could damage our reputation and make it more difficult to compete effectively or obtain adequate insurance in the future. The litigation and other legal proceedings described under Note 14 and Note 12 are subject to future developments and management’s view of these matters may change in the future.
Our success will depend on our ability to economically manufacture our trucks at scale and build our hydrogen fueling stations to meet our customers’ business needs, and our ability to develop and manufacture trucks of sufficient quality and appeal to customers on schedule and at scale is unproven.
Our future business depends in large part on our ability to execute our plans to develop, manufacture, market and sell our BEV and FCEV trucks and to deploy the associated hydrogen fueling stations for our FCEV trucks at sufficient capacity to meet the transportation demands of our business customers. We plan to initially commence manufacturing our trucks in Europe through our joint venture with CNH Industrial N.V., or CNHI, and Iveco S.p.A., or Iveco, which commenced operations in the fourth quarter of 2020, and in the future at our manufacturing plant in Arizona.
 
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Our continued development of our truck platforms is and will be subject to risks, including with respect to:
 
   
our ability to secure necessary funding;
 
   
the equipment we plan to use being able to accurately manufacture the vehicles within specified design tolerances;
 
   
long-and
short-term durability of our hydrogen fuel cell and electric drivetrain technology related components in the
day-to-day
wear and tear of the commercial trucking environment;
 
   
compliance with environmental, workplace safety and similar regulations;
 
   
securing necessary components on acceptable terms and in a timely manner;
 
   
delays in delivery of final component designs to our suppliers;
 
   
our ability to attract, recruit, hire and train skilled employees;
 
   
quality controls, particularly as we plan to commence manufacturing
in-house;
 
   
delays or disruptions in our supply chain; and
 
   
other delays and cost overruns.
We have no experience to date in high volume manufacturing of our trucks. We do not know whether we will be able to develop efficient, automated,
low-cost
manufacturing capabilities and processes, and reliable sources of component supply, that will enable us to meet the quality, price, engineering, design and production standards, as well as the production volumes, required to successfully mass market our trucks. Even if we are successful in developing our high volume manufacturing capability and processes and reliably source our component supply, we do not know whether we will be able to do so in a manner that avoids significant delays and cost overruns, including as a result of factors beyond our control such as problems with suppliers and vendors, or in time to meet our vehicle commercialization schedules or to satisfy the requirements of customers. Any failure to develop such manufacturing processes and capabilities within our projected costs and timelines could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition.
We may experience significant delays in the design, manufacture, launch and financing of our trucks, including in the build out of our manufacturing plant, which could harm our business and prospects.
Any delay in the financing, design, manufacture and launch of our trucks, including in the build out of our manufacturing plant in Arizona, could materially damage our brand, business, prospects, financial condition and operating results. Vehicle manufacturers often experience delays in the design, manufacture and commercial release of new products. To the extent we delay the launch of our trucks, our growth prospects could be adversely affected as we may fail to grow our market share. Furthermore, we rely on third party suppliers for the provision and development of many of the key components and materials used in our vehicles. To the extent our suppliers experience any delays in providing us with or developing necessary components, we could experience delays in delivering on our timelines.
We will rely on complex machinery for our operations and production involves a significant degree of risk and uncertainty in terms of operational performance and costs.
We will rely heavily on complex machinery for our operations and our production will involve a significant degree of uncertainty and risk in terms of operational performance and costs. Our truck manufacturing plant will consist of large-scale machinery combining many components. The manufacturing plant components are likely to suffer unexpected malfunctions from time to time and will depend on repairs and spare parts to resume operations, which may not be available when needed. Unexpected malfunctions of the manufacturing plant components may significantly affect the intended operational efficiency. Operational performance and costs can be difficult to predict and are often influenced by factors outside of our control, such as, but not limited to,
 
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scarcity of natural resources, environmental hazards and remediation, costs associated with decommissioning of machines, labor disputes and strikes, difficulty or delays in obtaining governmental permits, damages or defects in electronic systems, industrial accidents, fire, seismic activity and natural disasters. Should operational risks materialize, it may result in the personal injury to or death of workers, the loss of production equipment, damage to manufacturing facilities, monetary losses, delays and unanticipated fluctuations in production, environmental damage, administrative fines, increased insurance costs and potential legal liabilities, all which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition or prospects.
Once completed, if our manufacturing plant in Arizona becomes inoperable, we will be unable to produce our trucks and our business will be harmed.
We expect to begin assembly of our trucks at our manufacturing plant in Arizona after completion of the initial phase of the plant in 2021, at the earliest. We expect to produce all of our trucks at our manufacturing plant in Arizona after completion of the second phase of the plant in 2022, at the earliest. Our plant and the equipment we use to manufacture our trucks would be costly to replace and could require substantial lead time to replace and qualify for use. Our plant may be harmed or rendered inoperable by natural or
man-made
disasters, including earthquakes, flooding, fire and power outages, or by health epidemics, such as the
COVID-19
pandemic, which may render it difficult or impossible for us to manufacture our trucks for some period of time. The inability to produce our trucks or the backlog that could develop if our manufacturing plant is inoperable for even a short period of time may result in the loss of customers or harm our reputation. Although we maintain insurance for damage to our property and the disruption of our business, this insurance may not be sufficient to cover all of our potential losses and may not continue to be available to us on acceptable terms, if at all.
Our plan to build a network of hydrogen fueling stations will require significant cash investments and management resources and may not meet our expectations with respect to additional sales of our electric vehicles. In addition, we may not be able to open stations in certain states.
Our plan to build a network of hydrogen fueling stations in the United States will require significant cash investments and management resources and may not meet our expectations with respect to additional sales of our FCEV trucks. This planned construction of hydrogen stations is essential to persuading customers to pay a higher premium for our trucks.
While we have constructed a demo station, we have very limited experience in the actual provision of our refueling solutions to users, and providing these services is subject to challenges, which include the logistics of rolling out our network of refueling stations and teams in appropriate areas, inadequate capacity or over capacity in certain areas, security risks, risk of damage to vehicles during charging or refueling, and the potential for lack of customer acceptance of our services. We will need to ensure compliance with any regulatory requirements applicable in jurisdictions where our fueling stations will be located, including obtaining any required permits and land use rights, which could take considerable time and expense and is subject to the risk that government support in certain areas may be discontinued or subject to conditions that we may be unable to meet in a cost-efficient manner or at all. In addition, given our lack of experience building and operating fueling stations, there could be unanticipated challenges, which may hinder our ability to provide our bundled lease model to customers or make the provision of our bundled leases costlier than anticipated. If we are unable to build, or experience delays in building, our network of hydrogen fueling stations, we may be unable to meet our fueling commitments under our bundled lease arrangements with customers and experience decreased sales or leases of our vehicles, which may negatively impact our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results.
We may not be able to produce or source the hydrogen needed to establish our planned hydrogen fueling stations.
As a key component of our business model, we intend to establish a series of hydrogen fueling stations, and we intend to include the cost of hydrogen in the purchase price of our trucks. Where electricity can be procured
 
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in a cost-effective manner, we expect that hydrogen fuel will be produced
on-site,
via electrolysis. In other cases, we expect that hydrogen fuel will be produced
off-site
and delivered to fueling stations under a supply “hub and spoke” structure. On June 22, 2021, we entered into a Hydrogen Sale and Purchase Agreement, or the Hydrogen Purchase Agreement, with WVR, to purchase hydrogen produced at the hydrogen production facility, or the Plant, being developed by WVR in West Terre Haute, Indiana. WVR has yet to break ground on the Plant. Consequently, there is no guarantee WVR will be able to meet its development timeline with regard to the facility or successfully produce hydrogen at scale. To the extent we are unable to produce or obtain the hydrogen, we may be unable to establish these fueling stations and severely limit the usefulness of our trucks, or, if we are still able to establish these stations, we may be forced to sell hydrogen at a loss in order to maintain our commitments. We believe that this hydrogen incentive will be a significant driver for purchases of our trucks, and therefore, the failure to establish and roll out these hydrogen fueling stations in accordance with our expectations would materially adversely affect our business.
Our inability to cost-effectively source the energy requirements to conduct electrolysis at our fueling stations may impact the profitability of our bundled lease model by making our hydrogen uneconomical compared to other vehicle fuel sources.
Our ability to economically produce hydrogen for our FCEV trucks requires us to secure a reliable source of electricity for each of our
on-site
gaseous stations and large scale production hubs at a price per kilowatt hour that is similar to wholesale rates in the geographic areas we target. During our initial hydrogen station
roll-out,
we intend to source power based on the most economical power mix available at each hydrogen production site, including power from the grid that is sourced from
non-renewable
sources. An increase in the price of energy used to generate hydrogen through electrolysis would likely result in a higher cost of fuel for our FCEV trucks as well as increase the cost of distribution, freight and delivery. We may not be able to offset these cost increases or pass such cost increases onto customers in the form of price increases, because of our bundled lease model for FCEV trucks, which could have an adverse impact on our results of operations and financial condition.
Reservations for our trucks are cancellable.
Reservations for our Nikola FCEV trucks are subject to cancellation by the customer until the customer enters into a lease agreement or, in the case of Anheuser-Busch LLC, or AB, to the extent our trucks do not meet the vehicle specifications and delivery timelines specified in the contract with AB, as discussed further below. Because all of our reservations are cancellable, it is possible that a significant number of customers who submitted reservations for our trucks may cancel those reservations. In addition, our
non-binding
FCEV reservations include reservations from individuals or small fleets with orders of 100 trucks or less, which collectively represent approximately 47% of our total FCEV reservations as of December 31, 2020. These individuals or small fleets may not receive FCEV trucks until the density of the hydrogen station network is sufficient for their refueling needs, which may not occur until approximately 2030 or later.
Given the anticipated lead times between customer reservation and delivery of our trucks, there is a heightened risk that customers that have made reservations may not ultimately take delivery of vehicles due to potential changes in customer preferences, competitive developments and other factors. As a result, no assurance can be made that reservations will not be cancelled, or that reservations will ultimately result in the purchase or lease of a vehicle. Any cancellations could harm our financial condition, business, prospects and operating results.
In addition, any projected revenue is based on a number of assumptions, including a projected purchase price for our trucks. If the purchase price of the trucks ends up being different than anticipated, we may not achieve the anticipated level of projected revenue, even if all of the trucks subject to reservations are sold or leased.
While we currently have a contract with AB to lease up to 800 Nikola Two FCEV trucks, if we are unable to deliver our trucks according to the vehicle specifications and delivery timelines set forth in the contract, AB has
 
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the right to cancel its order for trucks. Moreover, the AB contract specifies lease terms and rental rates that may be hard for us to meet depending on our ability to develop our trucks and hydrogen network according to current design parameters and cost estimates. Any of these adverse actions related to the AB order could harm our financial condition, business, prospects and operating results.
While we do not currently have any leasing arrangements finalized, in the future we intend to offer a bundled lease or other alternative structures to customers, which would expose us to credit risk.
While we currently intend to offer bundled leasing of our trucks or other alternative structures to potential customers through a third-party financing partner, we currently have no agreement in place with any potential financing partner. We can provide no assurance that a third-party financing partner would be able or willing to provide the leasing services on terms that we have stated in our published materials, or to provide financing at all. Furthermore, offering a leasing alternative to customers will expose us to risks commonly associated with the extension of credit. Credit risk is the potential loss that may arise from any failure in the ability or willingness of the customer to fulfill its contractual obligations when they fall due. Competitive pressure and challenging markets may increase credit risk through leases to financially weak customers, extended payment terms and leases into new and immature markets. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial results and results of operations.
We face significant barriers to produce our trucks, and if we cannot successfully overcome those barriers our business will be negatively impacted.
The trucking industry has traditionally been characterized by significant barriers to entry, including large capital requirements, investment costs of designing and manufacturing vehicles, long lead times to bring vehicles to market from the concept and design stage, the need for specialized design and development expertise, regulatory requirements, establishing a brand name and image and the need to establish sales, leasing, fueling and service locations. If we are not able to overcome these barriers, our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition will be negatively impacted and our ability to grow our business will be harmed.
Our future growth is dependent upon the trucking industry’s willingness to adopt BEV and FCEV trucks.
Our growth is highly dependent upon the adoption by the trucking industry of alternative fuel and electric trucks. If the market for our BEV and FCEV trucks does not develop at the rate or to the extent that we expect, our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results will be harmed. The market for alternative fuel and electric trucks is new and untested and is characterized by rapidly changing technologies, price competition, numerous competitors, evolving government regulation and industry standards and uncertain customer demands and behaviors.
Factors that may influence the adoption of alternative fuel and electric vehicles include:
 
   
perceptions about BEV or FCEV truck quality, safety, design, performance and cost, especially if adverse events or accidents occur that are linked to the quality or safety of alternative fuel or electric vehicles;
 
   
perceptions about vehicle safety in general, including the use of advanced technology, such as vehicle electronics, hydrogen fueling and storage and regenerative braking systems;
 
   
the decline of vehicle efficiency resulting from deterioration over time in the ability of the battery to hold a charge;
 
   
concerns about the availability of hydrogen stations, including those we plan to develop and deploy, which could impede our present efforts to promote FCEV trucks as a desirable alternative to diesel trucks;
 
   
improvements in the fuel economy of internal combustion engines;
 
   
the availability of service for alternative fuel or electric trucks;
 
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volatility in the cost of energy, oil, gasoline and hydrogen;
 
   
government regulations and economic incentives promoting fuel efficiency and alternate forms of energy;
 
   
the availability of tax and other governmental incentives to purchase and operate alternative fuel and electric trucks or future regulation requiring increased use of nonpolluting trucks;
 
   
our ability to sell or lease trucks directly to business or customers dependent on state by state unique regulations and dealership laws;
 
   
the availability of tax and other governmental incentives to sell hydrogen;
 
   
perceptions about and the actual cost of alternative fuel; and
 
   
macroeconomic factors.
Additionally, we may become subject to regulations that may require us to alter the design of our trucks, which could negatively impact customer interest in our products.
If our trucks fail to perform as expected, our ability to develop, market and sell or lease our alternative fuel and electric trucks could be harmed.
Once production commences, our trucks may contain defects in design and manufacture that may cause them not to perform as expected or may require repair. We currently have no frame of reference by which to evaluate the performance of our trucks upon which our business prospects depend. For example, our trucks will use a substantial amount of software to operate which will require modification and updates over the life of the vehicle. Software products are inherently complex and often contain defects and errors when first introduced.
There can be no assurance that we will be able to detect and fix any defects in the trucks’ hardware or software prior to commencing customer sales. We may experience recalls in the future, which could adversely affect our brand in our target markets and could adversely affect our business, prospects and results of operations. Our trucks may not perform consistent with customers’ expectations or consistent with other vehicles which may become available. Any product defects or any other failure of our trucks to perform as expected could harm our reputation and result in adverse publicity, lost revenue, delivery delays, product recalls, product liability claims and significant warranty and other expenses, and could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, operating results and prospects.
Although we hope to be among the first to bring BEV and FCEV Class 8 trucks to market, competitors have and may continue to enter the market before our trucks, which could have an adverse effect on our business.
We face intense competition in trying to be among the first to bring our BEV and FCEV truck platforms to market, including from companies in our target markets with greater financial resources, more extensive development, manufacturing, marketing and service capabilities, greater brand recognition and a larger number of managerial and technical personnel. If competitor’s trucks are brought to market before our trucks, we may experience a reduction in potential market share.
Many of our current and potential competitors, particularly international competitors, have significantly greater financial, technical, manufacturing, marketing and other resources than we do and may be able to devote greater resources to the design, development, manufacturing, distribution, promotion, sale and support of their products.
We compete in a rapidly evolving and highly competitive industry, and a number of private and public companies have announced plans to offer BEV and/or FCEV trucks, including companies such as Daimler, Hyliion, Hyundai, Lion, Tesla, Hyzon, Toyota and Volvo. Based on publicly available information, a number of these competitors have displayed prototype trucks and have announced target availability and production
 
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timelines, while others have launched pilot programs in some markets. In addition, we are aware that one potential competitor, BYD, is currently manufacturing and selling a Class 8 BEV truck. While some competitors may choose to offer BEV trucks, others such as Hyundai have announced they plan to offer FCEV trucks and invest in hydrogen stations for refueling. In addition, our principal competition for our trucks will also come from manufacturers of trucks with internal combustion engines powered by diesel fuel.
We expect competition in our industry to intensify in the future in light of increased demand and regulatory push for alternative fuel and electric vehicles. We cannot provide assurances that our trucks will be among the first to market, or that competitors will not build hydrogen fueling stations. Even if our trucks are among the first to market, we cannot assure you that customers will choose our vehicles over those of our competitors, or over diesel powered trucks.
Developments in alternative technology improvements in the internal combustion engine may adversely affect the demand for our trucks.
Significant developments in alternative technologies, such as advanced diesel, ethanol, or compressed natural gas or improvements in the fuel economy of the internal combustion engine, may materially and adversely affect our business and prospects in ways we do not currently anticipate. Other fuels or sources of energy may emerge as customers’ preferred alternative to our truck platform. Any failure by us to develop new or enhanced technologies or processes, or to react to changes in existing technologies, could materially delay our development and introduction of new and enhanced alternative fuel and electric trucks, which could result in the loss of competitiveness of our trucks, decreased revenue and a loss of market share to competitors. Our research and development efforts may not be sufficient to adapt to changes in alternative fuel and electric vehicle technology. As technologies change, we plan to upgrade or adapt our trucks and introduce new models in order to continue to provide trucks with the latest technology, in particular battery cell technology.
We have no experience servicing our vehicles. If we are unable to address the service requirements of our customers, our business will be materially and adversely affected.
Because we do not plan to begin production of our trucks until
mid-2021
at the earliest, we have no experience servicing or repairing our vehicles. Servicing alternative fuel and electric vehicles is different than servicing vehicles with internal combustion engines and requires specialized skills, including high voltage training and servicing techniques. We may decide to partner with a third party to perform some or all of the maintenance on our trucks, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to enter into an acceptable arrangement with any such third-party provider. If we are unable to successfully address the service requirements of our customers, our business and prospects will be materially and adversely affected.
In addition, the motor vehicle industry laws in many states require that service facilities be available to service vehicles physically sold from locations in the state. While we anticipate developing a service program that would satisfy regulators in these circumstances, the specifics of our service program are still in development, and at some point may need to be restructured to comply with state law, which may impact our business, financial condition, operating results and prospects.
Future product recalls could materially adversely affect our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition.
Any product recall in the future may result in adverse publicity, damage our brand and materially adversely affect our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition. In the future, we may voluntarily or involuntarily, initiate a recall if any of our vehicles or electric powertrain components (including the fuel cell or batteries) prove to be defective or noncompliant with applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. Such recalls involve significant expense and diversion of management attention and other resources, which could adversely affect our brand image in our target markets, as well as our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
 
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Insufficient warranty reserves to cover future warranty claims could materially adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results.
Once our trucks are in production, we will need to maintain warranty reserves to cover warranty-related claims. If our warranty reserves are inadequate to cover future warranty claims on our vehicles, our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results could be materially and adversely affected. We may become subject to significant and unexpected warranty expenses. There can be no assurances that then-existing warranty reserves will be sufficient to cover all claims.
If we are unable to attract and retain key employees and hire qualified management, technical and engineering personnel, our ability to compete could be harmed.
Our success depends, in part, on our ability to retain our key personnel. The unexpected loss of or failure to retain one or more of our key employees could adversely affect our business.
Our success also depends, in part, on our continuing ability to identify, hire, attract, train and develop other highly qualified personnel, including management, technical and engineering personnel. Qualified individuals are in high demand, particularly in the vehicle technology industry. Competition for individuals with experience designing, manufacturing and servicing electric vehicles is intense, and we may not be able to attract, integrate, train, motivate or retain additional highly qualified personnel in the future. Competition for these employees can be intense, and our ability to hire, attract and retain them may depend on our ability to provide competitive compensation. We use equity awards to attract talented employees, but if the value of our common stock declines significantly, as it has in the recent past, and remains depressed, it may prevent us from recruiting and retaining qualified employees. We may not be able to attract, integrate, train or retain qualified personnel in the future. Additionally, we may not be able to hire new employees quickly enough to meet our needs. Our failure to do so could adversely affect our business and prospects, including the execution of our global business strategy.
Increases in costs, disruption of supply or shortage of raw materials, particularly
lithium-ion
battery cells, could harm our business.
Once we begin commercial production of vehicles, we may experience increases in the cost or a sustained interruption in the supply or shortage of raw materials, including battery cells and semiconductors. Any such increase or supply interruption could materially negatively impact our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results. We use various raw materials including aluminum, steel, carbon fiber,
non-ferrous
metals (such as copper), and cobalt. The prices for these raw materials fluctuate depending on market conditions and global demand and could adversely affect our business and operating results. For instance, we are exposed to multiple risks relating to price fluctuations for
lithium-ion
cells. These risks include:
 
   
the inability or unwillingness of current battery manufacturers to build or operate battery cell manufacturing plants to supply the numbers of
lithium-ion
cells required to support the growth of the electric vehicle industry as demand for such cells increases;
 
   
disruption in the supply of cells due to quality issues or recalls by the battery cell manufacturers; and
 
   
an increase in the cost of raw materials, such as cobalt, used in
lithium-ion
cells.
Any disruption in the supply of battery cells or semiconductors could temporarily disrupt production of the BEV truck until a different supplier is fully qualified. Moreover, battery cell manufacturers may refuse to supply electric vehicle manufacturers if they determine that the vehicles are not sufficiently safe. Furthermore, fluctuations or shortages in petroleum and other economic conditions may cause us to experience significant increases in freight charges and raw material costs. Substantial increases in the prices for our raw materials would increase our operating costs and could reduce our margins if the increased costs cannot be recouped through increased electric vehicle prices. There can be no assurance that we will be able to recoup increasing costs of raw materials by increasing vehicle prices.
 
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Collaboration with strategic partners is subject to risks.
In 2019, we partnered with Iveco, a subsidiary of CNHI, to manufacture the BEV truck at the Iveco manufacturing plant in Ulm, Germany through a joint venture with CNHI, which commenced operations in the fourth quarter of 2020. We currently intend to begin production of the BEV truck at the Iveco plant in 2021, with deliveries beginning late in the same year. We currently expect that approximately 40 million Euros will be invested in total by Iveco and Nikola into the manufacturing plant to prepare it for assembly, of which 14.8 million Euros was funded through March 31, 2021. Future funding may be partially financed through debt obtained by the joint venture.
In addition to entering into the Hydrogen Purchase Agreement, on June 22, 2021, we also acquired a 20% equity interest in WVR and entered into that certain Second Amended and Restated Limited Liability Company Agreement of WVR, pursuant to which, among other things, we, in our sole discretion, obtained the right, or the Offtake Right, to own up to 20% of the entity to which WVR will transfer ownership of the hydrogen gas turbine to be part of the Plant, without further consideration paid therefore, subject to certain conditions. Exercising this Offtake Right will likely require us to make significant capital expenditures to build liquefaction, storage, and transportation services.
We have announced planned collaborations with various parties, including with respect to hydrogen production and sourcing, providing service and maintenance and deployment of hydrogen fueling stations. Discussions with our strategic partners are ongoing, are subject to the parties’ entry into definitive documentation, and terms of the agreements are subject to change. Consequently, there can be no assurance that we will enter into agreements on the terms initially contemplated, if at all.
Collaboration with third parties is subject to risks with respect to operations that are outside our control. We could experience delays if our partners do not meet agreed upon timelines or experience capacity constraints. There are risks of potential disputes, disagreements or fallouts with partners and failure to perform under contracts or enforce contracts against the other party, and/or the potential terminations of such contracts, and the production of our trucks could be disrupted as a result. We could be affected by adverse publicity related to our partners, whether or not such publicity is related to their collaboration with us, or adverse publicity related to our relationships with our partners. Our ability to successfully build a premium brand could also be adversely affected by perceptions about the quality of our partners’ products. In addition, although we are involved in each step of the supply chain and manufacturing process, because we also rely on our partners and third parties to meet our quality standards, there can be no assurance that we will successfully maintain quality standards.
We may be unable to enter into new agreements or extend existing agreements with manufacturers on terms and conditions acceptable to us and therefore may need to contract with other third parties or significantly add to our own production capacity. There can be no assurance that in such event we would be able to engage other third parties or establish or expand our own production capacity to meet our needs on acceptable terms or at all. The expense and time required to complete any transition, and to assure that vehicles manufactured at facilities of new manufacturers comply with our quality standards and regulatory requirements, may be greater than anticipated. Any of the foregoing could adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
We are or may be subject to risks associated with strategic alliances or acquisitions.
We have entered into, and may in the future enter into additional, strategic alliances, including joint ventures or minority equity investments with various third parties to further our business purpose. These alliances could subject us to a number of risks, including risks associated with sharing proprietary information,
non-performance
by the third party and increased expenses in establishing new strategic alliances, any of which may materially and adversely affect our business. We may have limited ability to monitor or control the actions of these third parties and, to the extent any of these strategic third parties suffers negative publicity or harm to their reputation from events relating to their business, we may also suffer negative publicity or harm to our reputation by virtue of our association with any such third party.
 
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When appropriate opportunities arise, we may acquire additional assets, products, technologies or businesses that are complementary to our existing business. In addition to possible stockholder approval, we may need approvals and licenses from relevant government authorities for the acquisitions and to comply with any applicable laws and regulations, which could result in increased delay and costs, and may disrupt our business strategy if we fail to do so. Furthermore, acquisitions and the subsequent integration of new assets and businesses into our own require significant attention from our management and could result in a diversion of resources from our existing business, which in turn could have an adverse effect on our operations. Acquired assets or businesses may not generate the financial results we expect. Acquisitions could result in the use of substantial amounts of cash, potentially dilutive issuances of equity securities, the occurrence of significant goodwill impairment charges, amortization expenses for other intangible assets and exposure to potential unknown liabilities of the acquired business. Moreover, the costs of identifying and consummating acquisitions may be significant.
We are dependent on our suppliers, a significant number of which are single or limited source suppliers, and the inability of these suppliers to deliver necessary components of our vehicles at prices and volumes acceptable to us would have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects and operating results.
While we plan to obtain components from multiple sources whenever possible, many of the components used in our vehicles will be purchased by us from a single source, especially with respect to hydrogen fuel cells and batteries. We refer to these component suppliers as our single source suppliers. While we believe that we may be able to establish alternate supply relationships and can obtain or engineer replacement components for our single source components, we may be unable to do so in the short term (or at all) at prices or quality levels that are favorable to us.
A significant benefit of our collaborations with external manufacturing partners is the ability to leverage their respective existing assortment of parts, thereby decreasing our purchasing expenses. While these relationships give us access to use an existing supplier base with the hopes of accelerating procurement of components at favorable prices, there is no guarantee that this will be the case. In addition, we could experience delays if our suppliers do not meet agreed upon timelines or experience capacity constraints.
The battery efficiency of electric trucks will decline over time, which may negatively influence potential customers’ decisions whether to purchase our trucks.
We anticipate the ranges of our Nikola Tre BEV, Nikola Tre FCEV and Nikola Two FCEV vehicles to be up to 350, 500 and 900 miles per day, respectively, before needing to recharge or refuel depending on the type of vehicle, but that range will decline over time as the battery deteriorates. Other factors such as usage, time and stress patterns may also impact the battery’s ability to hold a charge, which would decrease our trucks’ range before needing to recharge or refuel. Such battery deterioration and the related decrease in range may negatively influence potential customer decisions.
Our trucks will make use of
lithium-ion
battery cells, which have been observed to catch fire or vent smoke and flame.
The battery packs within our trucks will make use of
lithium-ion
cells. On rare occasions,
lithium-ion
cells can rapidly release the energy they contain by venting smoke and flames in a manner that can ignite nearby materials as well as other
lithium-ion
cells. While the battery pack is designed to contain any single cell’s release of energy without spreading to neighboring cells, once our trucks are commercially available, a field or testing failure of our vehicles or other battery packs that we produce could occur, which could subject us to lawsuits, product recalls, or redesign efforts, all of which would be time consuming and expensive. Also, negative public perceptions regarding the suitability of
lithium-ion
cells for automotive applications or any future incident involving
lithium-ion
cells, such as a vehicle or other fire, even if such incident does not involve our trucks, could seriously harm our business and reputation.
In addition, once we begin manufacturing our trucks, we will need to store a significant number of
lithium-ion
cells at our facility. Any mishandling of battery cells may cause disruption to the operation of our
 
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facility. While we have implemented safety procedures related to the handling of the cells, a safety issue or fire related to the cells could disrupt our operations. Such damage or injury could lead to adverse publicity and potentially a safety recall. Moreover, any failure of a competitor’s electric vehicle or energy storage product may cause indirect adverse publicity for us and our products. Such adverse publicity could negatively affect our brand and harm our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results.
Any unauthorized control or manipulation of our vehicles’ systems could result in loss of confidence in us and our vehicles and harm our business.
Our trucks contain complex information technology systems and
built-in
data connectivity to accept and install periodic remote updates to improve or update functionality. We have designed, implemented and tested security measures intended to prevent unauthorized access to our information technology networks, our trucks and related systems. However, hackers may attempt to gain unauthorized access to modify, alter and use such networks, trucks and systems to gain control of or to change our trucks’ functionality, user interface and performance characteristics, or to gain access to data stored in or generated by the truck. Future vulnerabilities could be identified and our efforts to remediate such vulnerabilities may not be successful. Any unauthorized access to or control of our trucks or their systems, or any loss of customer data, could result in legal claims or proceedings. In addition, regardless of their veracity, reports of unauthorized access to our trucks, systems or data, as well as other factors that may result in the perception that our trucks, systems or data are capable of being “hacked,” could negatively affect our brand and harm our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results.
Interruption or failure of our information technology and communications systems could impact our ability to effectively provide our services.
We plan to outfit our trucks with
in-vehicle
services and functionality that utilize data connectivity to monitor performance and timely capture opportunities for cost-saving preventative maintenance. The availability and effectiveness of our services depend on the continued operation of information technology and communications systems, which we have yet to develop. Our systems will be vulnerable to damage or interruption from, among others, fire, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, power loss, telecommunications failures, computer viruses, computer denial of service attacks or other attempts to harm our systems. Our data centers could also be subject to
break-ins,
sabotage and intentional acts of vandalism causing potential disruptions. Some of our systems will not be fully redundant, and our disaster recovery planning cannot account for all eventualities. Any problems at our data centers could result in lengthy interruptions in our service. In addition, our trucks are highly technical and complex and may contain errors or vulnerabilities, which could result in interruptions in our business or the failure of our systems.
We are subject to substantial regulation and unfavorable changes to, or failure by us to comply with, these regulations could substantially harm our business and operating results.
Our alternative fuel and electric trucks, and the sale of motor vehicles in general, are subject to substantial regulation under international, federal, state, and local laws. We expect to incur significant costs in complying with these regulations. Regulations related to the electric vehicle industry and alternative energy are currently evolving and we face risks associated with changes to these regulations, including but not limited to:
 
   
increased subsidies for corn and ethanol production, which could reduce the operating cost of vehicles that use ethanol or a combination of ethanol and gasoline; and
 
   
increased sensitivity by regulators to the needs of established automobile manufacturers with large employment bases, high fixed costs and business models based on the internal combustion engine, which could lead them to pass regulations that could reduce the compliance costs of such established manufacturers or mitigate the effects of government efforts to promote alternative fuel vehicles.
To the extent the laws change, our trucks may not comply with applicable international, federal, state or local laws, which would have an adverse effect on our business. Compliance with changing regulations could be
 
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burdensome, time consuming, and expensive. To the extent compliance with new regulations is cost prohibitive, our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results would be adversely affected.
We are subject to various environmental laws and regulations that could impose substantial costs upon us and cause delays in building our manufacturing facilities.
Our operations will be subject to international, federal, state, and/or local environmental laws and regulations, including laws relating to the use, handling, storage, disposal and human exposure to hazardous materials. Environmental and health and safety laws and regulations can be complex, and we expect that we will be affected by future amendments to such laws or other new environmental and health and safety laws and regulations which may require us to change our operations, potentially resulting in a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, and operating results. These laws can give rise to liability for administrative oversight costs, cleanup costs, property damage, bodily injury and fines and penalties. Capital and operating expenses needed to comply with environmental laws and regulations can be significant, and violations may result in substantial fines and penalties, third party damages, suspension of production or a cessation of our operations.
Contamination at properties we will own and operate, we formerly owned or operated or to which hazardous substances were sent by us, may result in liability for us under environmental laws and regulations, including, but not limited to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, which can impose liability for the full amount of remediation-related costs without regard to fault, for the investigation and cleanup of contaminated soil and ground water, for building contamination and impacts to human health and for damages to natural resources. The costs of complying with environmental laws and regulations and any claims concerning noncompliance, or liability with respect to contamination in the future, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or operating results. We may face unexpected delays in obtaining the required permits and approvals in connection with our manufacturing facilities that could require significant time and financial resources and delay our ability to operate these facilities, which would adversely impact our business prospects and operating results.
We are subject to evolving laws, regulations, standards, policies, and contractual obligations related to data privacy and security, and any actual or perceived failure to comply with such obligations could harm our reputation and brand, subject us to significant fines and liabilities, or otherwise adversely affect our business.
In the course of our operations, we collect, use, store, disclose, transfer and otherwise process personal information from our consumers, employees and third parties with whom we conduct business, including names, accounts, user IDs and passwords, and payment or transaction related information. Additionally, we intend to use our trucks’ electronic systems to log information about each vehicle’s use in order to aid us in vehicle diagnostics, repair and maintenance. Our customers may object to the use of this data, which may increase our vehicle maintenance costs and harm our business prospects. Accordingly, we are subject to or affected by a number of federal, state, local and international laws and regulations, as well as contractual obligations and industry standards, that impose certain obligations and restrictions with respect to data privacy and security and govern our collection, storage, retention, protection, use, processing, transmission, sharing and disclosure of personal information including that of our employees, customers and other third parties with whom we conduct business. These laws, regulations and standards may be interpreted and applied differently over time and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and it is possible that they will be interpreted and applied in ways that may have a material and adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The global data protection landscape is rapidly evolving, and implementation standards and enforcement practices are likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future. We may not be able to monitor and react to all developments in a timely manner. The European Union adopted the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which became effective in May 2018, and California adopted the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, or CCPA, which became effective in January 2020. Both the GDPR and the CCPA impose additional
 
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obligations on companies regarding the handling of personal data and provides certain individual privacy rights to persons whose data is collected. Compliance with existing, proposed and recently enacted laws and regulations (including implementation of the privacy and process enhancements called for under the GDPR and CCPA) can be costly, and any failure to comply with these regulatory standards could subject us to legal and reputational risks.
Specifically, the CCPA establishes a privacy framework for covered businesses, including an expansive definition of personal information and data privacy rights for California consumers. The CCPA includes a framework with potentially severe statutory damages for violations and a private right of action for certain data breaches. The CCPA requires covered businesses to provide California consumers with new privacy-related disclosures and new ways to
opt-out
of certain uses and disclosures of personal information. As we expand our operations, the CCPA may increase our compliance costs and potential liability. Some observers have noted that the CCPA could mark the beginning of a trend toward more stringent privacy legislation in the United States. Additionally, effective starting on January 1, 2023, the California Privacy Rights Act, or CPRA, will significantly modify the CCPA, including by expanding California consumers’ rights with respect to certain sensitive personal information. The CPRA also creates a new state agency that will be vested with authority to implement and enforce the CCPA and the CPRA.
Other states have begun to propose similar laws. Compliance with applicable privacy and data security laws and regulations is a rigorous and time-intensive process, and we may be required to put in place additional mechanisms to comply with such laws and regulations, which could cause us to incur substantial costs or require us to change our business practices, including our data practices, in a manner adverse to our business. In particular, certain emerging privacy laws are still subject to a high degree of uncertainty as to their interpretation and application. Failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations or to secure personal information could result in investigations, enforcement actions and other proceedings against us, which could result in substantial fines, damages and other liability as well as damage to our reputation and credibility, which could have a negative impact on revenues and profits.
We post public privacy policies and other documentation regarding our collection, processing, use and disclosure of personal information. Although we endeavor to comply with our published policies and other documentation, we may at times fail to do so or may be perceived to have failed to do so. Moreover, despite our efforts, we may not be successful in achieving compliance if our employees, contractors, service providers, vendors or other third parties fail to comply with our published policies and documentation. Such failures could carry similar consequences or subject us to potential local, state and federal action if they are found to be deceptive, unfair or misrepresentative of our actual practices. Claims that we have violated individuals’ privacy rights or failed to comply with data protection laws or applicable privacy notices could, even if we are not found liable, be expensive and time-consuming to defend and could result in adverse publicity that could harm our business.
Most jurisdictions have enacted laws requiring companies to notify individuals, regulatory authorities and other third parties of security breaches involving certain types of data. Such laws may be inconsistent or may change or additional laws may be adopted. In addition, our agreements with certain customers may require us to notify them in the event of a security breach. Such mandatory disclosures are costly, could lead to negative publicity, penalties or fines, litigation and our customers losing confidence in the effectiveness of our security measures and require us to expend significant capital and other resources to respond to or alleviate problems caused by the actual or perceived security breach. Any of the foregoing could materially adversely affect our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition.
We face risks associated with our international operations, including unfavorable regulatory, political, tax and labor conditions, which could harm our business.
We face risks associated with our international operations, including possible unfavorable regulatory, political, tax and labor conditions, which could harm our business. We anticipate having international operations
 
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and subsidiaries in Germany and Italy that are subject to the legal, political, regulatory and social requirements and economic conditions in these jurisdictions. Additionally, as part of our growth strategy, we intend to expand our sales, maintenance and repair services internationally. However, we have no experience to date selling and servicing our vehicles internationally and such expansion would require us to make significant expenditures, including the hiring of local employees and establishing facilities, in advance of generating any revenue. We are subject to a number of risks associated with international business activities that may increase our costs, impact our ability to sell our alternative fuel and electric trucks and require significant management attention. These risks include:
 
   
conforming our trucks to various international regulatory requirements where our trucks are sold, or homologation;
 
   
development and construction of our hydrogen refueling network;
 
   
difficulty in staffing and managing foreign operations;
 
   
difficulties attracting customers in new jurisdictions;
 
   
foreign government taxes, regulations and permit requirements, including foreign taxes that we may not be able to offset against taxes imposed upon us in the United States, and foreign tax and other laws limiting our ability to repatriate funds to the United States;
 
   
fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates, including risks related to any interest rate swap or other hedging activities we undertake;
 
   
United States and foreign government trade restrictions, tariffs and price or exchange controls;
 
   
foreign labor laws, regulations and restrictions;
 
   
changes in diplomatic and trade relationships;
 
   
political instability, natural disasters, war or events of terrorism; and
 
   
the strength of international economies.
If we fail to successfully address these risks, our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition could be materially harmed.
Our ability to use net operating losses to reduce future tax payments may be limited by provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and may be subject to further limitation as a result of future transactions.
Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, contain rules that limit the ability of a company that undergoes an ownership change, which is generally any cumulative change in ownership of more than 50% of its stock over a three-year period, to utilize its net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards and certain
built-in
losses recognized in the years after the ownership change. These rules generally operate by focusing on ownership changes involving stockholders who directly or indirectly own 5% or more of the stock of a company and any change in ownership arising from a new issuance of stock by the company. Generally, if an ownership change occurs, the yearly taxable income limitation on the use of net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards is equal to the product of the applicable long-term tax exempt rate and the value of our stock immediately before the ownership change. As a result, we may be unable to offset our taxable income with net operating losses, or our tax liability with credits, before these losses and credits expire.
In addition, it is possible that future transactions (including issuances of new shares of our common stock and sales of shares of our common stock) will cause us to undergo one or more additional ownership changes. In that event, we may not be able to use our net operating losses from periods prior to this ownership change to offset future taxable income in excess of the annual limitations imposed by Sections 382 and 383.
 
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We face risks related to health epidemics, including the
COVID-19
pandemic, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
We face various risks related to public health issues, including epidemics, pandemics, and other outbreaks, including the pandemic of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus known as
COVID-19.
The impact of
COVID-19,
including changes in consumer and business behavior, pandemic fears and market downturns, and restrictions on business and individual activities, has created significant volatility in the global economy and led to reduced economic activity. The spread of
COVID-19
has also created a disruption in the manufacturing, delivery and overall supply chain of vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, and has led to a global decrease in vehicle sales in markets around the world.
The pandemic has resulted in government authorities implementing numerous measures to try to contain the virus, such as travel bans and restrictions, quarantines,
stay-at-home
or
shelter-in-place
orders, and business shutdowns. These measures may adversely impact our employees and operations and the operations of our customers, suppliers, vendors and business partners, and may negatively impact our sales and marketing activities, the construction schedule of our hydrogen fueling stations and our manufacturing plant in Arizona, and the production schedule of our trucks. For example, the headquarters of our partner, Iveco, located in Italy, was shut down for two months due to
COVID-19,
and as a result, pilot builds for the BEV truck were delayed. In addition, various aspects of our business, manufacturing plant and hydrogen fueling station building process, cannot be conducted remotely. These measures by government authorities may remain in place for a significant period of time and they are likely to continue to adversely affect our manufacturing and building plans, sales and marketing activities, business and results of operations.
The spread of
COVID-19
has caused us to modify our business practices (including employee travel, recommending that all
non-essential
personnel work from home and cancellation or reduction of physical participation in sales activities, meetings, events and conferences), and we may take further actions as may be required by government authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers, suppliers, vendors and business partners. There is no certainty that such actions will be sufficient to mitigate the risks posed by the virus or otherwise be satisfactory to government authorities. If significant portions of our workforce are unable to work effectively, including due to illness, quarantines, social distancing, government actions or other restrictions in connection with the
COVID-19
pandemic, our operations will be impacted.
The extent to which the
COVID-19
pandemic impacts our business, prospects and results of operations will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including, but not limited to, the duration and spread of the pandemic, including additional waves of the virus, its severity, the actions to contain the virus or treat its impact, including vaccination efforts, the ultimate efficacy of vaccine programs on new variants of the virus, and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating activities can resume. The
COVID-19
pandemic could limit the ability of our customers, suppliers, vendors and business partners to perform, including third party suppliers’ ability to provide components and materials used in our trucks. We may also experience an increase in the cost of raw materials used in our commercial production of trucks. Even after the
COVID-19
pandemic has subsided, we may continue to experience an adverse impact to our business as a result of its global economic impact, including any recession that has occurred or may occur in the future.
Specifically, difficult macroeconomic conditions, such as decreases in per capita income and level of disposable income, increased and prolonged unemployment or a decline in consumer confidence as a result of the
COVID-19
pandemic, as well as reduced spending by businesses, could have a material adverse effect on the demand for our trucks. Under difficult economic conditions, potential customers may seek to reduce spending by forgoing our trucks for other traditional options, and cancel reservations for our trucks. Decreased demand for our trucks, particularly in the United States and Europe, could negatively affect our business.
There are no comparable recent events which may provide guidance as to the effect of the spread of
COVID-19
and a pandemic, and, as a result, the ultimate impact of the
COVID-19
pandemic or a similar health epidemic is highly uncertain and subject to change. We do not yet know the full extent of
COVID-19’s
impact on
 
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our business, our operations, or the global economy as a whole. However, the effects could have a material impact on our results of operations, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely.
The unavailability, reduction or elimination of government and economic incentives could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results.
We currently, and expect to continue to, benefit from certain government subsidies and economic incentives that support the development and adoption of our vehicles, particularly our BEV and FCEV trucks. Any reduction, elimination or discriminatory application of government subsidies and economic incentives because of policy changes, the reduced need for such subsidies and incentives due to the perceived success of the electric vehicle or other reasons may result in the diminished competitiveness of the alternative fuel and electric vehicle industry generally or our BEV and FCEV trucks in particular. This could materially and adversely affect the growth of the alternative fuel automobile markets and our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results.
These incentives include tax credits, rebates and other incentives for alternative energy production, alternative fuel and electric vehicles, including greenhouse gas, or GHG, emissions credits under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GHG Rule and the California Air Resources Board. While these benefits have been available in the past, there is no guarantee these programs will be available in the future. If these tax incentives and other benefits are not available or are reduced or otherwise limited in the future, our financial position could be harmed.
We may not be able to obtain or agree on acceptable terms and conditions for all or a significant portion of the government grants, loans and other incentives for which we may apply. As a result, our business and prospects may be adversely affected.
We anticipate applying for federal and state grants, loans and tax incentives under government programs designed to stimulate the economy and support the production of alternative fuel and electric vehicles and related technologies, as well as the sale of hydrogen. For example, we intend to initially build our hydrogen fueling stations in California, in part because of the incentives that are available. We anticipate that in the future there will be new opportunities for us to apply for grants, loans and other incentives from the United States, state and foreign governments. Our ability to obtain funds or incentives from government sources is subject to the availability of funds under applicable government programs and approval of our applications to participate in such programs. The application process for these funds and other incentives will likely be highly competitive. We cannot assure you that we will be successful in obtaining any of these additional grants, loans and other incentives. If we are not successful in obtaining any of these additional incentives and we are unable to find alternative sources of funding to meet our planned capital needs, our business and prospects could be materially adversely affected.
Further, accepting funding from governmental entities or
in-licensing
patent rights from third parties that are
co-owned
with governmental entities may result in the U.S. government having certain rights, including
so-called
march-in
rights, to such patent rights and any products or technology developed from such patent rights. When new technologies are developed with U.S. government funding, the U.S. government generally obtains certain rights in any resulting patents, including a nonexclusive license authorizing the U.S. government to use the invention for noncommercial purposes. These rights may permit the U.S. government to disclose our confidential information to third parties and to exercise
march-in
rights to use or to allow third parties to use our licensed technology. The U.S. government can exercise its
march-in
rights if it determines that action is necessary because we fail to achieve the practical application of government-funded technology, because action is necessary to alleviate health or safety needs, to meet requirements of federal regulations, or to give preference to U.S. industry. In addition, our rights in such inventions may be subject to certain requirements to manufacture products embodying such inventions in the United States. Any exercise by the U.S. government of such rights could harm our competitive position, business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
 
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We may need to defend ourselves against patent or trademark infringement, or other intellectual property claims, which may be time-consuming and cause us to incur substantial costs.
Companies, organizations or individuals, including our competitors, may own or obtain patents, trademarks or other proprietary rights that would prevent or limit our ability to make, use, develop or sell our vehicles or components, which could make it more difficult for us to operate our business. We may receive inquiries from patent or trademark owners inquiring whether we infringe their proprietary rights. Companies owning patents or other intellectual property rights relating to battery packs, electric motors, fuel cells or electronic power management systems may allege infringement of such rights. In response to a determination that we have infringed upon a third party’s intellectual property rights, we may be required to do one or more of the following:
 
   
cease development, sales, or use of vehicles that incorporate the asserted intellectual property;
 
   
pay substantial damages;
 
   
obtain a license from the owner of the asserted intellectual property right, which license may not be available on reasonable terms or at all; or
 
   
redesign one or more aspects or systems of our trucks.
A successful claim of infringement against us could materially adversely affect our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition. Any litigation or claims, whether valid or invalid, could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources.
We also plan to license patents and other intellectual property from third parties, including suppliers and service providers, and we may face claims that our use of this
in-licensed
technology infringes the intellectual property rights of others. In such cases, we will seek indemnification from our licensors. However, our rights to indemnification may be unavailable or insufficient to cover our costs and losses.
We may also face claims challenging our use of open source software and our compliance with open source license terms. While we monitor our use of open source software and try to ensure that none is used in a manner that would require us to disclose or license our proprietary source code or that would otherwise breach the terms of an open source agreement, such use could inadvertently occur, or could be claimed to have occurred. Any breach of such open source license or requirement to disclose or license our proprietary source code could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our business may be adversely affected if we are unable to protect our intellectual property rights from unauthorized use by third parties.
Failure to adequately protect our intellectual property rights could result in our competitors offering similar products, potentially resulting in the loss of some of our competitive advantage, and a decrease in our revenue which would adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results. Our success depends, at least in part, on our ability to protect our core technology and intellectual property. To accomplish this, we will rely on a combination of patents, trade secrets (including
know-how),
employee and third-party nondisclosure agreements, copyright, trademarks, intellectual property licenses and other contractual rights to establish and protect our rights in our technology. We cannot guarantee that we have entered into such agreements with each party that may have or have had access to our trade secrets or proprietary information, including our technology and processes. In connection with our collaboration, partnership and license agreements, our rights to use licensed or jointly owned technology and intellectual property under such agreements may be subject to the continuation of and compliance with the terms of those agreements. In some cases, we may not control the prosecution, maintenance or filing of licensed or jointly owned patent rights, or the enforcement of such patents against third parties.
 
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The protection of our intellectual property rights will be important to our future business opportunities. However, the measures we take to protect our intellectual property from unauthorized use by others may not be effective for various reasons, including the following:
 
   
any patent applications we submit may not result in the issuance of patents;
 
   
the scope of our issued patents may not be broad enough to protect our proprietary rights;
 
   
our issued patents may be challenged and/or invalidated by our competitors;
 
   
the costs associated with enforcing patents, confidentiality and invention agreements or other intellectual property rights may make aggressive enforcement impracticable;
 
   
current and future competitors may circumvent our patents; and
 
   
our
in-licensed
patents may be invalidated, or the owners of these patents may breach our license arrangements.
For example, we are currently enforcing certain of our issued U.S. patents and other intellectual property rights against Tesla. Such litigation could result in such patents being challenged and/or invalidated, expose us to counterclaims of intellectual property infringement and result in a substantial diversion of our management’s attention and resources.
Patent, trademark, and trade secret laws vary significantly throughout the world. Some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as do the laws of the United States. Further, policing the unauthorized use of our intellectual property in foreign jurisdictions may be difficult. Therefore, our intellectual property rights may not be as strong or as easily enforced outside of the United States.
Our patent applications may not issue as patents, which may have a material adverse effect on our ability to prevent others from commercially exploiting products similar to ours.
We cannot be certain that we are the first inventor of the subject matter to which we have filed a particular patent application, or if we are the first party to file such a patent application. If another party has filed a patent application to the same subject matter as we have, we may not be entitled to the protection sought by the patent application. Further, the scope of protection of issued patent claims is often difficult to determine. As a result, we cannot be certain that the patent applications that we file will issue, or that our issued patents will afford protection against competitors with similar technology. In addition, our competitors may design around our issued patents, which may adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition or operating results.
We may be subject to risks associated with autonomous driving technology.
Our trucks can be designed with connectivity for future installation of an autonomous hardware suite and we plan to partner with a third-party software provider in the future to potentially implement autonomous capabilities. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to identify a third party to provide the necessary hardware and software to enable driverless Level 4 or Level 5 autonomy in an acceptable timeframe, on terms satisfactory to us, or at all. Autonomous driving technologies are subject to risks, and there have been accidents and fatalities associated with such technologies. The safety of such technologies depends in part on user interaction and users, as well as other drivers on the roadways, may not be accustomed to using or adapting to such technologies. To the extent accidents associated with our autonomous driving systems occur, we could be subject to liability, negative publicity, government scrutiny and further regulation. Any of the foregoing could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and growth prospects.
 
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The evolution of the regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles is outside of our control, and we cannot guarantee that our trucks will achieve the requisite level of autonomy to enable driverless systems within our projected timeframe, if ever.
There are currently no federal U.S. regulations pertaining to the safety of self-driving vehicles. However, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has established recommended guidelines. Certain states have legal restrictions on self-driving vehicles, and many other states are considering them. This patchwork increases the difficulty in legal compliance for our vehicles. In Europe, certain vehicle safety regulations apply to self-driving braking and steering systems, and certain treaties also restrict the legality of certain higher levels of self-driving vehicles. Self-driving laws and regulations are expected to continue to evolve in numerous jurisdictions in the U.S. and foreign countries and may restrict autonomous driving features that we may deploy.
Unfavorable publicity, or a failure to respond effectively to adverse publicity, could harm our reputation and adversely affect our business.
As an early stage company, maintaining and enhancing our brand and reputation is critical to our ability to attract and retain employees, partners, customers and investors, and to mitigate legislative or regulatory scrutiny, litigation and government investigations.
Recent significant negative publicity has adversely affected our brand and reputation and our stock price. Negative publicity may result from allegations of fraud, improper business practices, employee misconduct, unfair employment practices or any other matters that could give rise to litigation and/or governmental investigations. Unfavorable publicity relating to us or those affiliated with us, including our former executive chairman, has and may in the future adversely affect public perception of the entire company. Adverse publicity and its effect on overall public perceptions of our brand, or our failure to respond effectively to adverse publicity, could have a material adverse effect on our business.
In September 2020, an entity published an article containing certain allegations against us. This article and the public response to such article, as well as other negative publicity, have adversely affected our brand and reputation as well as our stock price, which makes it more difficult for us to attract and retain employees, partners and customers, reduces confidence in our products and services, harms investor confidence and the market price of our securities, invites legislative and regulatory scrutiny and has resulted in litigation and governmental investigations. As a result, customers, potential customers, partners and potential partners have failed to award us additional business, cancelled or sought to cancel existing contracts, and directed future business to our competitors, and may in the future take similar actions, and investors may invest in our competitors instead of us. See Legal Proceedings in Note 14, Commitments and Contingencies, to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus and Note 12, Commitments and Contingencies, to our unaudited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional information.
The successful rehabilitation of our brand will depend largely on regaining a good reputation, meeting our vehicle commercialization schedules, satisfying the requirements of customers, meeting our fueling commitments under our future bundled lease arrangements or other customer arrangements, maintaining a high quality of service under our future bundled lease arrangements, improving our compliance programs and continuing our marketing and public relations efforts. Expenses related to our brand promotion, reputation building, and media strategies have been significant and our efforts may not be successful. We anticipate that other competitors and potential competitors will expand their offerings, which will make maintaining and enhancing our reputation and brand increasingly more difficult and expensive. If we fail to successfully rehabilitate our brand in the current or future competitive environment or if events similar to the negative publicity occur in the future, our brand and reputation would be further damaged and our business may suffer.
Although we maintain insurance for the disruption of our business and director and officer liability insurance, these insurance policies may not be sufficient to cover all of our potential losses and may not continue to be available to us on acceptable terms, if at all.
 
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Social media platforms present risks and challenges that could cause damage to our brand and reputation, and which could subject us to liability, penalties and other restrictive sanctions.
Social media platforms present risks and challenges that have resulted, and may in the future result, in damage to our brand and reputation, and which could subject us to liability, penalties and other restrictive sanctions. Our internal policies and procedures regarding social media have not been, and may not in the future be, effective in preventing the inappropriate use of social media platforms, including blogs, social media websites and other forms of Internet-based communications. These platforms allow individuals access to a broad audience of consumers, investors and other interested persons. The considerable expansion in the use of social media over recent years has increased the volume and speed at which negative publicity arising from these events can be generated and spread, and we may be unable to timely respond to, correct any inaccuracies in, or adequately address negative perceptions arising from such coverage. The use of such platforms by our officers and other employees and former employees has adversely impacted, and could in the future adversely impact, our costs and our brand and reputation, and has resulted, and could in the future result, in the disclosure of confidential information, litigation and regulatory inquiries. Any such litigation or regulatory inquiries may result in significant penalties and other restrictive sanctions and adverse consequences. In addition, negative or inaccurate posts or comments about us on social media platforms could damage our reputation, brand image and goodwill, and we could lose the confidence of our customers and partners, regardless of whether such information is true and regardless of any number of measures we may take to address them. We are currently party to litigation and regulatory proceedings related in part to social media statements. See Legal Proceedings in Note 14, Commitments and Contingencies, to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus and Note 12, Commitments and Contingencies, to our unaudited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional information about those proceedings.
General Risk Factors
Concentration of ownership among our executive officers and directors and their affiliates may prevent new investors from influencing significant corporate decisions.
As of June 30, 2021, Mark A. Russell, our President, Chief Executive Officer and director, beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, approximately 12.3%, of our outstanding common stock, and our directors and executive officers as a group beneficially own approximately 22.6% of our outstanding common stock. As a result, these stockholders will be able to exercise a significant level of control over all matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors, any amendment of our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation, or our Certificate of Incorporation, and approval of significant corporate transactions. This control could have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control or changes in management and will make the approval of certain transactions difficult or impossible without the support of these stockholders.
As of June 30, 2021, Trevor R. Milton, our founder and former executive chairman, beneficially owned, directly or indirectly, approximately 20.1% of our outstanding common stock. In connection with his departure in September 2020, for a period of three years from September 20, 2020, Mr. Milton has agreed to certain standstill provisions, including, among other things, agreeing not to (i) acquire ownership (beneficial or otherwise) of more than 19 million shares of our outstanding common stock in the aggregate, together with shares held by his affiliates and associates, (ii) propose or effect any extraordinary transaction with respect to us, (iii) solicit any proxy or consent with respect to the election or removal of directors or any other proposal, (iv) seek representation on our board of directors or the removal of any member of our board of directors, or (v) submit any stockholder proposal. In addition, for a period of three years from September 20, 2020, Mr. Milton has agreed to vote his shares of our common stock (x) in favor of the slate of directors recommended by our board of directors at any meeting of our stockholders and (y) against the election of any nominee for director not recommended and nominated by our board of directors for election at such meeting. These standstill and voting restrictions could have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control or changes in management and will make the approval of certain transactions difficult or impossible without the support of our executive officers and directors and their affiliates.
 
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Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market could cause the price of our common stock to decline.
As of June 30, 2021, we had approximately 397.1 million shares of common stock outstanding and outstanding warrants to purchase approximately 0.8 million shares of common stock. All of the shares of our common stock are freely transferable, subject to compliance with Rule 144 by affiliates, without additional registration under the Securities Act, except for the Commitment Shares being registered on the Registration Statement of which this prospectus forms a part.
We have also registered shares of common stock that we have issued, and may in the future issue, under our employee equity incentive plans. These shares may be sold freely in the public market upon issuance, subject to relevant vesting schedules and applicable securities laws.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market or the perception that these sales might occur could depress the market price of our common stock and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities. We are unable to predict the effect that sales may have on the prevailing market price of our common stock. In addition, the sale of substantial amounts of our common stock could adversely impact its price.
We have never paid dividends on our capital stock, and we do not anticipate paying dividends in the foreseeable future.
We have never paid dividends on any of our capital stock and currently intend to retain any future earnings to fund the growth of our business. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our board of directors, and will depend on our financial condition, operating results, capital requirements, general business conditions and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant. As a result, capital appreciation, if any, of our common stock will be the sole source of gain for the foreseeable future.
Our stock price is volatile, and you may not be able to sell shares of our common stock at or above the price you paid.
The trading price of our common stock is volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control. For example, the trading price of our common stock declined recently following the release of the Hindenburg article, which contains certain allegations against us. These factors include, but are not limited to:
 
   
our progress on achievement of business milestones and objectives;
 
   
actual or anticipated fluctuations in operating results;
 
   
failure to meet or exceed financial estimates and projections of the investment community or that we provide to the public;
 
   
issuance of new or updated research or reports by securities analysts or changed recommendations for our stock or the transportation industry in general;
 
   
announcements by us or our competitors of significant acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, collaborations or capital commitments;
 
   
operating and share price performance of other companies that investors deem comparable to us;
 
   
our focus on long-term goals over short-term results;
 
   
the timing and magnitude of our investments in the growth of our business;
 
   
actual or anticipated changes in laws and regulations affecting our business;
 
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additions or departures of key management or other personnel;
 
   
disputes or other developments related to our intellectual property or other proprietary rights, including litigation;
 
   
our ability to market new and enhanced products and technologies on a timely basis;
 
   
sales of substantial amounts of our common stock by our directors, executive officers or significant stockholders or the perception that such sales could occur;
 
   
changes in our capital structure, including future issuances of securities or the incurrence of debt; and
 
   
general economic, political and market conditions.
In addition, the stock market in general, and The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC in particular, has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies.
The closing price of our common stock on Nasdaq ranged from $9.65 to $79.73 following the closing of the Business Combination on June 3, 2020 through June 30, 2021. In September 2020, an entity published an article containing certain allegations against us that we believe has negatively impacted the trading price of our common stock. The price of our common stock also decreased substantially following public announcements made by us. In addition, broad market and industry factors, including
COVID-19,
may seriously affect the market price of our common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance.
Any investment in our common stock is subject to extreme volatility and could result in the loss of your entire investment. In addition, in the past, following periods of volatility in the overall market and the market price of a particular company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against these companies. This litigation, which has and may in the future be instituted against us, could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our management’s attention and resources. See Legal Proceedings in Note 14, Commitments and Contingencies, to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus and Note 12, Commitments and Contingencies, to our unaudited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional information about those proceedings.
We will continue to incur significant increased expenses and administrative burdens as a public company, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We face increased legal, accounting, administrative and other costs and expenses as a public company that we did not incur as a private company. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, including the requirements of Section 404, as well as rules and regulations subsequently implemented by the SEC, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 and the rules and regulations promulgated and to be promulgated thereunder, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the securities exchanges, impose additional reporting and other obligations on public companies. Compliance with public company requirements will increase costs and make certain activities more time-consuming. A number of those requirements require us to carry out activities we have not done previously. For example, we created new board committees and have adopted new internal controls and disclosure controls and procedures. In addition, we will continue to incur expenses associated with SEC reporting requirements. Furthermore, if any issues in complying with those requirements are identified (for example, if our independent auditors identify a material weakness or significant deficiency in our internal control over financial reporting), we could incur additional costs rectifying those issues, and the existence of those issues could adversely affect our reputation, our stock price, or investor perceptions of us. In addition, we have obtained director and officer liability insurance. Risks associated with our status as a public company may make it more difficult to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our board of directors or as executive officers. The additional reporting and other obligations imposed by these rules
 
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and regulations increase legal and financial compliance costs and the costs of related legal, accounting and administrative activities. These increased costs will require us to divert a significant amount of money that could otherwise be used to expand the business and achieve strategic objectives. Advocacy efforts by stockholders and third parties may also prompt additional changes in governance and reporting requirements, which could further increase costs.
Our failure to timely and effectively implement controls and procedures required by Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act could have a material adverse effect on our business.
As a public company, we will be required to provide management’s attestation on internal controls. The standards required for a public company under Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are significantly more stringent than those that were required of us as a private company. We will need to continue to implement additional finance, accounting, and business operating systems, procedures, and controls as we grow our business and organization and to satisfy existing reporting requirements. If we fail to maintain or implement adequate controls, if we are unable to complete the required Section 404 assessment as to the adequacy of our internal control over financial reporting in future Form
10-K
filings, or if our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to provide us with an unqualified report as to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting in future Form
10-K
filings, the market price of our stock could decline and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by the SEC, the Nasdaq or other regulatory authorities, which could require additional financial and management resources.
We recently identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting and determined that our disclosure controls and procedures were ineffective which has, and if not remediated, may again result in material misstatements of our consolidated financial statements or cause us to fail to meet our periodic reporting obligations.
On April 12, 2021, the SEC Staff released a Staff Statement on Accounting and Reporting Considerations for Warrants Issued by Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (“SPACs”), or the SEC Staff Statement. The SEC Staff Statement clarified guidance for all SPAC-related companies regarding the accounting and reporting for their warrants that could result in the warrants issued by SPACs being classified as a liability measured at fair value, with
non-cash
fair value adjustments recorded in earnings at each reporting period. After considering the SEC Staff Statement, we
re-evaluated
our historical accounting for warrants and determined the need to change the accounting treatment of the private warrants issued in connection with the initial public offering of VectoIQ and recorded in our consolidated financial statements as a result of our merger with VectoIQ, and the reverse recapitalization that occurred on June 3, 2020. We previously recorded the private warrants as equity. Based on management’s evaluation, the audit committee of our board of directors, in consultation with management, determined that the private warrants should have been classified as liabilities measured at fair value on the Closing Date of the merger with VectoIQ, with subsequent changes in fair value reported in our consolidated statements of operations each reporting period.
Prior to the SEC Staff Statement, we believed that our warrant accounting was consistent with generally accepted accounting principles. Our belief was supported by the fact that most other SPACs and parties who have merged with SPACs similarly interpreted the warrant accounting principles at issue. However, based on the clarifications expressed in the SEC Staff Statement, which resulted in the restatement to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus, management concluded there was a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020.
Our controls to evaluate the accounting for complex financial instruments, such as for warrants issued by VectoIQ, did not operate effectively to appropriately apply the provisions of ASC
815-40.
This material weakness resulted in a material error in our accounting for warrants related to the private warrants recorded as part of the Business Combination and a restatement of our previously issued financial statements more fully described in Note 1 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. Based
 
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on the material weakness, management concluded that, as of December 31, 2020 and March 31, 2021, our internal control over financial reporting was not effective and our disclosure controls and procedures were not effective.
To remediate the material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, management implemented additional review procedures, and additional training and enhancements to the accounting policy related to the accounting for equity and liability instruments (including those with warrants) to determine proper accounting in accordance with GAAP.
Although our remediation plan has been implemented and is expected to be completed as of the filing date of our Quarterly Report on Form
10-Q
for the quarter ending June 30, 2021, the material weakness cannot be considered remediated until the controls operate for a sufficient period and management has concluded, through testing, that our internal controls are operating effectively. While management believes that the remedial efforts will resolve the identified material weakness, there is no assurance that management’s remedial efforts conducted to date will be sufficient or that additional remedial actions will not be necessary.
In addition, there can be no assurance that additional material weaknesses will not be identified in the future. If we are unsuccessful in remediating our existing or any future material weaknesses or other deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures, investors may lose confidence in our financial reporting and the accuracy and timing of our financial reporting and disclosures and our business, reputation, results of operations, financial condition, ability to access the capital markets, perceptions of our creditworthiness, and stock price could be adversely affected. In addition, we may be unable to maintain or regain compliance with applicable securities laws or stock market listing requirements. We also face potential for litigation or other disputes which may include, among others, claims invoking the federal and state securities laws, contractual claims or other claims arising from the restatement and material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting and the preparation of our financial statements. Any such litigation or dispute, whether successful or not, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our warrants are accounted for as liabilities and the changes in value of our warrants could have a material effect on our financial results.
In connection with the restatement described above, our warrants are classified as liabilities. Under this accounting treatment, we are required to measure the fair value of the warrants at the end of each reporting period and recognize changes in the fair value from the prior period in our operating results for the current period. As a result of the recurring fair value measurement, our financial statements and results of operations may fluctuate quarterly based on factors which are outside our control. We expect that we will recognize
non-cash
gains or losses due to the quarterly fair valuation of our warrants and that such gains or losses could be material.
Our management has limited experience in operating a public company.
Our executive officers have limited experience in the management of a publicly traded company. Mark A. Russell, who joined us in February 2019 and assumed the responsibilities of the Chief Executive Officer in June 2020, is the only member of our management team who has substantial prior experience as an executive officer of a public company. Our management team may not successfully or effectively manage our transition to a public company that is subject to significant regulatory oversight and reporting obligations under federal securities laws. Their limited experience in dealing with the increasingly complex laws pertaining to public companies could be a significant disadvantage in that it is likely that an increasing amount of their time may be devoted to these activities which will result in less time being devoted to the management and growth of the company. We may not have adequate personnel with the appropriate level of knowledge, experience, and training in the accounting policies, practices or internal controls over financial reporting required of public companies in the United States. The development and implementation of the standards and controls necessary for the company
 
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to achieve the level of accounting standards required of a public company in the United States may require costs greater than expected. It is possible that we will be required to expand our employee base and hire additional employees to support our operations as a public company which will increase our operating costs in future periods.
Our Certificate of Incorporation provides, subject to limited exceptions, that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for certain stockholder litigation matters, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, employees or stockholders.
Our Certificate of Incorporation requires, to the fullest extent permitted by law, that derivative actions brought in our name, actions against directors, officers and employees for breach of fiduciary duty and other similar actions may be brought in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware or, if that court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, another federal or state court situated in the State of Delaware. Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our capital stock shall be deemed to have notice of and consented to the forum provisions in our Certificate of Incorporation. In addition, our Certificate of Incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws, or our Bylaws, will provide that the federal district courts of the United States shall be the exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action under the Securities Act and the Exchange Act.
In March 2020, the Delaware Supreme Court issued a decision in
Salzburg et al. v. Sciabacucchi
, which found that an exclusive forum provision providing for claims under the Securities Act to be brought in federals court is facially valid under Delaware law. It is unclear whether this decision will be appealed, or what the final outcome of this case will be. We intend to enforce this provision, but we do not know whether courts in other jurisdictions will agree with this decision or enforce it.
This choice of forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or any of our directors, officers, other employees or stockholders, which may discourage lawsuits with respect to such claims. Alternatively, if a court were to find the choice of forum provision contained in our Certificate of Incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could harm our business, operating results and financial condition.
If securities or industry analysts issue an adverse recommendation regarding our stock or do not publish research or reports about our company, our stock price and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our common stock will depend in part on the research and reports that equity research analysts publish about us and our business. We do not control these analysts or the content and opinions included in their reports. Securities analysts may elect not to provide research coverage of our company and such lack of research coverage may adversely affect the market price of our common stock. The price of our common stock could also decline if one or more equity research analysts downgrade our common stock, change their price targets, issue other unfavorable commentary or cease publishing reports about us or our business. For example, in September 2020, an entity published an article containing certain allegations against us that we believe has negatively impacted the trading price of our common stock. If one or more equity research analysts cease coverage of our company, we could lose visibility in the market, which in turn could cause our stock price to decline.
The unaudited pro forma financial information included herein is not indicative of what our actual financial position or results of operations would have been.
The unaudited pro forma financial information included herein is presented for illustrative purposes only and is not necessarily indicative of what our actual financial position or results of operations would have been had the Business Combination been completed on the dates indicated.
 
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USE OF PROCEEDS
All of the shares being offered by the Selling Stockholders pursuant to this prospectus will be sold by the Selling Stockholders for their own accounts. We will not receive any proceeds from these sales.
 
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DIVIDEND POLICY
We have not paid any cash dividends on our common stock to date. We may retain future earnings, if any, for future operations, and have no current plans to pay cash dividends for the foreseeable future. Any decision to declare and pay dividends in the future will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on, among other things, our results of operations, financial condition, cash requirements, contractual restrictions and other factors that the board may deem relevant. In addition, our ability to pay dividends may be limited by covenants of future outstanding indebtedness we or our subsidiaries incur. We do not anticipate declaring any cash dividends in the foreseeable future.
 
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UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
The following unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations for the year ended December 31, 2020 present our combined audited historical statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2020 with the unaudited historical condensed statement of operations of VectoIQ for the period from January 1, 2020 to June 3, 2020, the date we consummated the transactions contemplated in the Business Combination, adjusted to give effect to the Business Combination and related transactions. The following unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information has been prepared in accordance with Article 11 of
Regulation S-X.
The unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations for the year ended December 31, 2020 combine the historical statements of operations of us and VectoIQ for such periods on a pro forma basis as if the Business Combination and related transactions, summarized below, had been consummated on January 1, 2020, the beginning of the earliest period presented:
 
   
the merger of Legacy Nikola with and into Merger Sub, a wholly owned subsidiary of VectoIQ, with Legacy Nikola surviving the merger as a wholly-owned subsidiary of VectoIQ;
 
   
the issuance and sale of 52,500,000 shares of our common stock for a purchase price of $10.00 per share and an aggregate purchase price of $525.0 million in a private placement pursuant to the Subscription Agreements, or the PIPE; and
 
   
the redemption of 7,000,000 shares of common stock from M&M Residual, LLC, or M&M Residual, at a purchase price of $10.00 per share.
The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information does not include an unaudited pro forma consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2020 as the Business Combination and related transactions are already reflected in our historical audited consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2020, included elsewhere in this prospectus.
The historical financial statements have been adjusted in the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial statements to give pro forma effect to events that are: (i) directly attributable to the Business Combination and related transactions; (ii) factually supportable; and (iii) expected to have a continuing impact on our results following the completion of the Business Combination and related transactions.
The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial statements have been developed from and should be read in conjunction with:
 
   
the accompanying notes to the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial statements;
 
   
our historical audited financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2020 and the related notes, included elsewhere in this prospectus; and
 
   
other information relating to VectoIQ and Legacy Nikola contained in this prospectus, including the Business Combination Agreement.
Pursuant to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, the holders of shares of common stock prior to the completion of the Business Combination were offered the opportunity to redeem, upon the closing of the Business Combination, shares of common stock then held by them for cash equal to their pro rata share of the aggregate amount on deposit (as of two business days prior to the closing) in the Trust Account (as defined in the section entitled “Description of Our Securities”). The unaudited condensed combined pro forma financial statements reflect actual redemption of 2,702 shares of common stock at $10.37 per share.
Notwithstanding the legal form of the Business Combination pursuant to the Business Combination Agreement, the Business Combination is accounted for as a reverse recapitalization in accordance with GAAP.
 
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Under this method of accounting, VectoIQ is treated as the acquired company and Legacy Nikola is treated as the acquirer for financial reporting purposes. Legacy Nikola has been determined to be the accounting acquirer based on evaluation of the following facts and circumstances:
 
   
Legacy Nikola’s existing stockholders have the greatest voting interest in the combined entity with over 77% voting interest;
 
   
the largest minority voting stockholder of the combined entity is an existing stockholder of Legacy Nikola;
 
   
Legacy Nikola’s directors represent eight of the nine board seats for the combined company’s board of directors;
 
   
Legacy Nikola’s existing stockholders have the ability to control decisions regarding election and removal of directors and officers of the combined entity’s executive board of directors; and
 
   
Legacy Nikola’s senior management is the senior management of the combined company.
Assumptions and estimates underlying the unaudited pro forma adjustments set forth in the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial statements are described in the accompanying notes. The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial statements have been presented for illustrative purposes only and are not necessarily indicative of the operating results and financial position that would have been achieved had the Business Combination and related transactions occurred on the dates indicated. Further, the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial statements do not purport to project our future operating results or financial position following the completion of the Business Combination and related transactions. The unaudited pro forma adjustments represent management’s estimates based on information available as of the date of these unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial statements and are subject to change as additional information becomes available and analyses are performed.
 
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UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS
FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2020
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
 
    
Period
January 1,
2020 through
June 3, 2020
   
Year Ended
December 31,
2020
   
Pro Forma
Adjustments
         
Year Ended
December 31,
2020
 
    
VectoIQ
Acquisition
Corp.
(Historical)
(1)
 
   
Nikola
Corporation
(Historical)
   
Pro Forma
Combined
 
Revenues
   $     $ 95     $       $ 95  
Costs and expenses:
          
Cost of goods sold
           72               72  
Operating expenses:
          
Research and development
           185,619               185,619  
Selling, general, and administrative
     1,025       182,724       52,660       (A     236,409  
Impairment expense
           14,415               14,415  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
     
 
 
 
Total costs and expenses
     1,025       382,830       52,660         436,515  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
     
 
 
 
Loss from operations
     (1,025     (382,735     (52,660       (436,420
Other income (expense):
          
Investment income in Trust account
     782             (782     (D      
Interest income
           202               202  
Loss on forward contract liability
           (1,324     1,324       (E      
Revaluation of warrant liability
           13,448
(2)
 
            13,448  
Other expense, net
           (846             (846
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
     
 
 
 
Loss before income taxes and equity in net loss of affiliate
     (243     (371,255     (52,118       (423,616
Income tax expense (benefit)
     185       (1,026             (841
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
     
 
 
 
Loss before equity in net loss of affiliate
     (428     (370,229     (52,118       (422,775
Equity in net loss of affiliate
           (637             (637
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
     
 
 
 
Net loss
     (428     (370,866     (52,118       (423,412
Premium paid on repurchase of redeemable convertible preferred stock
           (13,407     13,407       (F      
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
     
 
 
 
Net loss attributable to common stockholders
   $ (428   $ (384,273   $ (38,711     $ (423,412
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
     
 
 
 
Net loss per share attributable to common shareholders:
          
Basic
   $ (0.01         $ (1.14
Diluted
   $ (0.01         $ (1.17
Weighted average shares used to compute net loss per share attributable to common shareholders:
          
Basic
     29,640,000             371,420,779  
Diluted
     29,640,000             371,926,541  
 
(1)
The historical financial statements of VectoIQ have not been restated to reflect the remeasurement of warrant liabilities.
(2)
The gain on remeasurement of warrant liability of $13.4 million in 2020 results from the changes in fair value of the warrants following consummation of the Business Combination on June 3, 2020. The remeasurement of warrant liabilities for VectoIQ historical financials were not included as the value as of the Business Combination is the most representative as if the transaction occurred on January 1, 2020.
 
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Notes to Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Financial Statements
1. Basis of Presentation
The unaudited pro forma condensed combined statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2020 give pro forma effect to the Business Combination as if it had been consummated on January 1, 2020.
The unaudited pro forma consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2020 does not reflect the income tax effects of the pro forma adjustments as based on the statutory rate in effect for the period presented. Management believes that income tax adjustments in the unaudited pro forma consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2020 to not be meaningful given the combined entity incurred a significant loss during the period presented and we recognize a full valuation allowance.
The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information does not give effect to any anticipated synergies, operating efficiencies, tax savings or cost savings that may be associated with the Business Combination and is not necessarily indicative of what actual results of operations would have been. The pro forma adjustments reflecting the consummation of the Business Combination are based on certain currently available information and certain assumptions and methodologies that management believes are reasonable under the circumstances. Management believes that its assumptions and methodologies provide a reasonable basis for presenting all of the significant effects of the Business Combination based on information available to management at the time and that the pro forma adjustments give appropriate effect to those assumptions and are properly applied in the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information. They should be read in conjunction with the historical financial statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
2. Adjustments to Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Financial Information
The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information has been prepared to illustrate the effect of the Business Combination and has been prepared for informational purposes only. VectoIQ and Legacy Nikola have not had any historical relationship prior to the Business Combination. Accordingly, no pro forma adjustments were required to eliminate activities between the companies.
Adjustments to Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Statements of Operations
The pro forma adjustments included in the unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations for the year ended December 31, 2020 are as follows:
 
(A)   Represents pro forma adjustment to selling, general, and administrative expenses to reflect the following:
 
    
Year ended
December 31,
2020
       
Salary and stock-based compensation expense related to amended and restated employment agreements
   $ 52,710       (B
Elimination of VectoIQ’s historical office space and general administrative services
     (50     (C
  
 
 
   
   $ 52,660       (A
 
(B)   Effective as of the Closing Date, we entered into individual amended and restated employment agreements with certain executive officers. The executive officers agreed to an annual salary of $1 and were granted:
 
   
1,420,000 time-vested stock awards consisting of RSUs for shares of common stock, with a value of $48.2 million, subject to continued employment during a three-year cliff vesting schedule.
 
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11,497,000 market based awards consisting of RSUs for shares of common stock, with a value of $328.0 million, subject to a stock price index milestones and continued employment during a three-year cliff vesting schedule.
Excluded from the amounts above are 600,000 time-vested and 4,859,000 market based awards issued to our former executive chairman. Upon the former executive chairman’s departure in September 2020, the time-vested awards were modified to fully vest in September 2020 and the market-based awards were forfeited. The historical financial statements reflect the impact of the modification and forfeiture.
 
(C)   Represents pro forma adjustment to eliminate historical expenses related to VectoIQ’s office space and general administrative services, which terminated upon consummation of the Merger.
 
(D)   Represents pro forma adjustment to eliminate investment income related to the investment held in the Trust Account.
 
(E)   Reflects the elimination of the loss on the forward contract liability. We settled the liability in April 2020 with the issuance of Series D redeemable convertible preferred stock, which ceased to exist upon the conversion into common stock as part of the Business Combination.
 
(F)   Reflects the elimination of the premium paid on repurchase of redeemable convertible preferred stock, which ceased to exist upon the conversion into common stock as part of the Business Combination.
3. Loss per Share
Represents the net loss per share calculated using the historical weighted average shares outstanding, and the issuance of additional shares in connection with the Business Combination and related transactions, assuming the shares were outstanding since January 1, 2020. As the Business Combination is being reflected as if it had occurred at the beginning of the period presented, the calculation of weighted average shares outstanding for basic and diluted net loss per share assumes that the shares issuable relating to the Business Combination and related transactions have been outstanding for the entire period presented.
 
    
Year ended
December 31,
2020
 
Pro forma net loss (in thousands):
  
Basic
   $ (423,412
Diluted
(1)
   $ (436,860
Weighted average shares outstanding:
  
Basic
     371,420,779  
Diluted
     371,926,541  
Net loss per share:
  
Basic
   $ (1.14
Diluted
   $ (1.17
Weighted average shares outstanding
  
VectoIQ Public Stockholders
     22,983,872  
Holders of VectoIQ Founder Shares
     6,640,000  
PIPE Investors
     52,500,000  
Legacy Nikola stockholders
(2)
     278,780,606  
Post Business Combination common stock issuances
(3)
     10,516,301  
  
 
 
 
Weighted average shares outstanding—basic
     371,420,779  
  
 
 
 
Dilutive effect of assumed exercise of private warrants
(4)
     505,762  
  
 
 
 
Weighted average shares outstanding—diluted
     371,926,541  
  
 
 
 
 
(1)
The pro forma net loss, diluted has been adjusted for the revaluation of warrant liability related to common stock equivalents.
 
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(2)
The pro forma shares attributable to Legacy Nikola stockholders is calculated by applying the exchange ratio of 1.901 to the historical Legacy Nikola common stock and preferred stock that was exchanged in the Business Combination. Pro forma shares attributable to Legacy Nikola stockholder was further adjusted for the redemption of 7.0 million shares of common stock from M&M Residual as described elsewhere in this Prospectus.
(3)
This amount includes weighted averages shares of stock options exercised, restricted stock unit distributions, and warrant redemptions that occurred subsequent to the closing of the Business Combination.
(4)
Dilutive effect of shares of common stock equivalents resulting from the assumed exercise of private warrants. The treasury stock method was used to calculate the potential dilutive effect of these common stock equivalents.
 
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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis provides information which management believes is relevant to an assessment and understanding of our consolidated results of operations and financial condition. The discussion should be read together with “Prospectus Summary—Summary Consolidated Financial Information” and the consolidated financial statements and related notes that are included elsewhere in this prospectus. The discussion and analysis should also be read together with our pro forma financial information for the year ended December 31, 2020. See the section entitled “Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Financial Information.” This discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements based upon current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in the following discussion and analysis as a result of various factors, including those set forth under “Risk Factors” or in other parts of this prospectus.
Overview
We are a technology innovator and integrator, working to develop innovative energy and transportation solutions. We are pioneering a business model that will enable corporate customers to integrate next-generation truck technology, hydrogen fueling infrastructure, and related maintenance. By creating this ecosystem, we and our strategic business partners and suppliers hope to build a long-term competitive advantage for clean technology vehicles and next generation fueling solutions.
Our expertise lies in design, innovation, and software and engineering. We assemble, integrate, and commission our vehicles in collaboration with our business partners and suppliers. Our approach has always been to leverage strategic partnerships to help lower cost, increase capital efficiency and increase speed to market.
We operate in two business units: Truck and Energy. The Truck business unit is developing and commercializing BEV and FCEV Class 8 trucks that provide environmentally friendly, cost effective solutions to the short, medium and long haul trucking sector. The Energy business unit is primarily developing and constructing a network of hydrogen fueling stations to meet hydrogen fuel demand for our FCEV customers.
In 2019, we partnered with Iveco, a subsidiary of CNHI, a leading European industrial vehicle manufacturing company. Together, we are jointly developing cab over BEV and FCEV trucks for sale in the European market, which will be manufactured through a 50/50 owned joint venture in Europe. In April 2020, we entered into a series of agreements with Iveco which established the joint venture, Nikola Iveco Europe GmbH. Our joint venture with Iveco provides us with the manufacturing infrastructure to build BEV trucks for the North American market in addition to that of our greenfield manufacturing facility in Coolidge, Arizona. The operations of the joint venture commenced during the fourth quarter of 2020.
We expect both our capital and operating expenditures to increase significantly in connection with our ongoing activities, as we:
 
   
construct manufacturing facilities and purchase related equipment;
 
   
commercialize our heavy-duty trucks and other products;
 
   
develop hydrogen fueling stations;
 
   
continue to invest in our technology;
 
   
increase our investment in marketing and advertising, sales, and distribution infrastructure for our products and services;
 
   
maintain and improve our operational, financial and management information systems;
 
   
hire additional personnel;
 
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obtain, maintain, expand, and protects our intellectual property portfolio; and
 
   
operate as a public company.
Comparability of Financial Information
Our results of operations and statements of assets and liabilities may not be comparable between periods as a result of the Business Combination.
Business Combination and Public Company Costs
On June 3, 2020, we consummated the merger contemplated by the Business Combination Agreement with VectoIQ, with Legacy Nikola surviving the merger as a wholly-owned subsidiary of VectoIQ. Immediately prior to the closing of the Business Combination, all shares of outstanding redeemable convertible preferred stock of Legacy Nikola were automatically converted into shares of VectoIQ’s common stock. Upon the consummation of the Business Combination, each share of Legacy Nikola common stock issued and outstanding was canceled and converted into the right to receive 1.901 shares of common stock. Upon the closing of the Business Combination, VectoIQ’s certificate of incorporation was amended and restated to, among other things, increase the total number of authorized shares of all classes of capital stock to 750,000,000 shares, of which 600,000,000 shares were designated common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, and of which 150,000,000 shares were designated preferred stock, $0.0001 par value per share.
In connection with the execution of the Business Combination Agreement, VectoIQ entered into separate subscription agreements with a number of investors, each, a Subscriber, pursuant to which the Subscribers agreed to purchase, and VectoIQ agreed to sell to the Subscribers, an aggregate of 52,500,000 shares of common stock, or the PIPE Shares, for a purchase price of $10.00 per share and an aggregate purchase price of $525.0 million, in the PIPE. The PIPE investment closed simultaneously with the consummation of the Business Combination.
Prior to the closing of the Business Combination, Legacy Nikola repurchased 2,850,930 shares of Legacy Nikola’s Series B redeemable convertible preferred stock at the price of $8.77 per share for an aggregate purchase price of $25.0 million pursuant to a Series B preferred stock repurchase agreement, or the Nimbus Repurchase Agreement, with Nimbus Holdings LLC, or Nimbus. The repurchase is retrospectively adjusted in the statement of stockholders’ equity to reflect our equity structure for all periods presented.
Immediately following the Business Combination, pursuant to a redemption agreement, Nikola redeemed 7,000,000 shares of common stock from M&M Residual at a purchase price of $10.00 per share.
The Business Combination is accounted for as a reverse merger in accordance with GAAP. While VectoIQ was the legal acquirer, because Legacy Nikola was deemed the accounting acquirer, the historical financial statements of Legacy Nikola became the historical financial statements of the combined company, upon the consummation of the Business Combination.
As a consequence of the Business Combination, we became a Nasdaq-listed company, which will require that we continue to hire additional personnel and implement procedures and processes to address public company regulatory requirements and customary practices. We expect to incur additional annual expenses as a public company for, among other things, directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, director fees and additional internal and external accounting, legal and administrative resources, including increased audit, compliance, and legal fees.
Key Factors Affecting Operating Results
We believe that our performance and future success depend on several factors that present significant opportunities for us but also pose risks and challenges, including those set forth in the section entitled “Risk Factors.”
 
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Commercial Launch of Nikola heavy duty trucks and other products
We expect to derive revenue from our BEV trucks in late 2021 and FCEV trucks in the second half 2023. Prior to commercialization, we must complete modification or construction of required manufacturing facilities, purchase and integrate related equipment and software, and achieve several research and development milestones. As a result, we will require substantial additional capital to develop our products and services and fund operations for the foreseeable future. Until we can generate sufficient revenue from product sales and hydrogen FCEV leases, we expect to finance our operations through a combination of existing cash on hand, public offerings, private placements, debt financings, collaborations, and licensing arrangements. The amount and timing of our future funding requirements will depend on many factors, including the pace and results of our development efforts. We expect that any delays in the successful completion of our manufacturing facility will impact our ability to generate revenue.
Customer Demand
While our products are not yet commercially available, we have received significant interest from potential customers. Going forward, we expect contractual orders from customers to be an important indicator of our future performance.
Basis of Presentation
Currently, we conduct business through one reportable and one operating segment. See Note 2 in the accompanying audited consolidated financial statements for more information.
Components of Results of Operations
Revenues
Prior to 2021, we primarily generated revenue from services related to solar installation projects that were completed in one year or less. Solar installation projects are not a part of our primary operations and were concluded in 2020.
Following the anticipated introduction of our products to the market, we expect the significant majority of our revenue to be derived from our BEV trucks starting in late 2021 and from bundled leases, or other alternative structures, for our FCEV trucks beginning in 2023. As currently planned, our bundled lease model will be inclusive of the cost of the truck, hydrogen fuel, and regularly scheduled maintenance.
Cost of Revenues
Prior to 2021, our cost of revenue included materials, labor, and other direct costs related to solar installation projects.
Once we have reached commercial production, cost of revenue will include direct parts, material and labor costs, manufacturing overhead, including amortized tooling costs and depreciation of our greenfield manufacturing facility, depreciation of our hydrogen fueling stations, cost of hydrogen production, shipping and logistics costs and reserves for estimated warranty expenses.
Research and Development Expense
Research and development expenses consist primarily of costs incurred for the discovery and development of our vehicles, which include:
 
   
Fees paid to third parties such as consultants and contractors for outside development;
 
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Expenses related to materials, supplies and third-party services, including prototype tooling and
non-recurring
engineering;
 
   
Personnel related expenses, including salaries, benefits, and stock-based compensation expense, for personnel in our engineering and research functions; and
 
   
Depreciation for prototyping equipment and R&D facilities.
During the three months ended March 31, 2021 and years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, our research and development expenses have primarily been incurred in the development of the BEV and FCEV trucks.
As a part of its
in-kind
investment, Iveco agreed to provide us with $100.0 million in advisory services (based on
pre-negotiated
hourly rates), including project coordination, drawings, documentation support, engineering support, vehicle integration, and product validation support. During the three months ended March 31, 2021, we utilized $12.9 million of advisory services, which were recorded as research and development expense. As of March 31, 2021, we have $33.4 million of prepaid
in-kind
advisory services remaining which is expected to be consumed during 2021 and will be recorded as research and development expense until we reach commercial production.
We expect our research and development costs to increase for the foreseeable future as we continue to invest to achieve our technology and product roadmap goals.
Selling, General, and Administrative Expense
Selling, general, and administrative expenses consist of personnel related expenses for our corporate, executive, finance, and other administrative functions, expenses for outside professional services, including legal, audit and accounting services, as well as expenses for facilities, depreciation, amortization, travel, and marketing costs. Personnel related expenses consist of salaries, benefits, and stock-based compensation.
We expect our selling, general, and administrative expenses to increase for the foreseeable future as we scale headcount with the growth of our business, and as a result of operating as a public company, including compliance with the rules and regulations of the SEC, legal, audit, additional insurance expenses, investor relations activities, and other administrative and professional services.
Interest Income (Expense), net
Interest income consists primarily of interest received or earned on our cash and cash equivalents balances. Interest expense consists of interest on our finance lease liability and term loan.
Revaluation of Series A Redeemable Convertible Preferred Stock Warrant Liability
The revaluation of Series A redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liability includes gains and losses from the remeasurement of our redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liability. As of December 31, 2019, all of our outstanding redeemable convertible preferred stock warrants were exercised, therefore, subsequent to 2019, there is no impact from the remeasurement of redeemable convertible preferred stock warrants.
Loss on Forward Contract Liability
The loss on forward contract liability includes losses from the remeasurement of the Series D redeemable convertible preferred stock forward contract liability. In April 2020, we fulfilled the forward contract liability and, therefore, subsequent to June 30, 2020, there will not be any impact from the remeasurement of the forward contract liability.
 
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Revaluation of Warrant Liability
The revaluation of warrant liability includes net gains and losses from the remeasurement of the warrant liability. Warrants recorded as liabilities are recorded at their fair value and remeasured at each reporting period or upon settlement.
Other Income, net
Other income consists primarily of other miscellaneous
non-operating
items, such as government grants, subsidies, merchandising, foreign currency gains and losses, and unrealized gains and losses on investments.
Income Tax Expense
Our income tax provision consists of an estimate for U.S. federal and state income taxes based on enacted rates, as adjusted for allowable credits, deductions, uncertain tax positions, changes in deferred tax assets and liabilities, and changes in the tax law. Due to cumulative losses, we maintain a valuation allowance against our U.S. and state deferred tax assets. Cash paid for income taxes, net of refunds during the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 was not material.
Equity in Net Loss of Affiliate
Equity in net loss of affiliate consists of our portion of losses from our joint venture, Nikola Iveco Europe, Gmbh.
 
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Results of Operations
Comparison of Three Months Ended March 31, 2021 to Three Months Ended March 31, 2020
The following table sets forth our historical operating results for the periods indicated:
 
    
Three Months Ended March 31,
   
$
   
%
 
    
2021
   
2020
   
Change
   
Change
 
    
(dollar amounts in thousands)
 
Solar revenues
           58       (58     NM  
Cost of solar revenues
           43       (43     NM  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Gross profit
           15       (15     NM  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Operating expenses:
        
Research and development
     55,163       24,077       31,086       129
Selling, general, and administrative
     65,427       7,935       57,492       725
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Total operating expenses
     120,590       32,012       88,578       277
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Loss from operations
     (120,590     (31,997     (88,593     277
Other income (expense):
        
Interest income (expense), net
     (9     62       (71     (115 )% 
Loss on forward contract liability
           (1,324     1,324       NM  
Revaluation of warrant liability
     951             951       NM  
Other income, net
     219       114       105       NM  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Loss before income taxes and equity in net loss of affiliate
     (119,429     (33,145     (86,284     260
Income tax expense
     1       1             NM  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Loss before equity in net loss of affiliate
     (119,430     (33,146     (86,284     260
Equity in net loss of affiliate
     (794           (794     NM  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Net loss
   $ (120,224   $ (33,146   $ (87,078     263
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Net loss per share:
        
Basic
   $ (0.31   $ (0.12   $ (0.19     NM  
Diluted
   $ (0.31   $ (0.12   $ (0.19     NM  
Weighted-average shares outstanding:
        
Basic
     392,189,851       271,896,258       120,293,593       NM  
Diluted
     392,489,761       271,896,258       120,593,503       NM  
Solar Revenues and Cost of Solar Revenues
Solar revenues and cost of solar revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2020 were related to solar installation service projects. Solar installation projects were legacy projects that were not related to our primary operations and were concluded in 2020.
Research and Development
Research and development expenses increased by $31.1 million, or 129.1%, from $24.1 million during the three months ended March 31, 2020 to $55.2 million during the three months ended in March 31, 2021. This increase was primarily due to $12.8 million in higher spend on purchased components and outside engineering services as we focus on the development, building, and testing and validation of our Tre BEV truck, as well as continuing the development of our FCEV truck platform. In addition, we incurred higher stock-based compensation expense of $10.0 million, and increased personnel costs of $6.8 million driven by growth in our
in-house
engineering headcount. We also had an increase in depreciation and occupancy costs related to additional capital equipment and software dedicated to R&D activities.
 
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Selling, General, and Administrative
Selling, general, and administrative expenses increased by $57.5 million, or 724.5%, from $7.9 million during the three months ended March 31, 2020 to $65.4 million during the three months ended March 31, 2021. The increase was primarily related to higher stock-based compensation expense of $39.0 million. In addition, there was an increase in legal expenses of $14.5 million primarily related to regulatory and legal matters incurred in connection with the Hindenburg article from September 2020. Further, there was an increase in personnel expenses driven by growth in headcount.
Interest Income (Expense), net
Interest income (expense), net was immaterial the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020.
Loss on Forward Contract Liability
Loss on the forward contract liability represents loss recognized from a $1.3 million change in fair value of the forward contract liability as of March 31, 2020. The forward contract was settled in April 2020.
Revaluation of Warrant Liability
The revaluation of warrant liability represents a net remeasurement gain of $1.0 million resulting from the change in fair value of our warrant liability during the quarter.
Other Income, net
Other income, net increased by $0.1 million from $0.1 million during the three months ended March 31, 2020 to $0.2 million during the three months ended March 31, 2021. The increase is primarily related to unrealized gains and losses from foreign currency translation.
Income Tax Expense
Income tax expense was immaterial for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020. We have accumulated net operating losses at the federal and state level and maintain a full valuation allowance against our net deferred taxes.
Equity in Net Loss of Affiliate
Equity in net loss of affiliate for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, was $0.8 million which relates to the net loss of our joint venture. The joint venture commenced operations in the fourth quarter of 2020.
 
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Comparison of Year Ended December 31, 2020 to Year Ended December 31, 2019
The following table sets forth our historical operating results for the periods indicated:
 
    
Years Ended December 31,
             
    
2020
   
2019
   
$ Change
   
% Change
 
    
( in thousands, except share and per share data)
 
Solar revenues
   $ 95     $ 482     $ (387     NM  
Cost of solar revenues
     72       271       (199     NM  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Gross profit
     23       211       (188     NM  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Operating expenses:
        
Research and development
     185,619       67,514       118,105       175
Selling, general, and administrative
     182,724       20,692       162,032       783
Impairment expense
     14,415             14,415       NM  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Total operating expenses
     382,758       88,206       294,552       334
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Loss from operations
     (382,735     (87,995     (294,740     335
Other income (expense):
        
Interest income, net
     202       1,456       (1,254     (86 )% 
Revaluation of Series A redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liability
           (3,339     3,339       NM  
Loss on forward contract liability
     (1,324           (1,324     NM  
Revaluation of warrant liability
     13,448             13,448       NM  
Other income (expense), net
     (846     1,373       (2,219     (162 )% 
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Loss before income taxes and equity in net loss of affiliate
     (371,255     (88,505     (282,750     319
Income tax expense (benefit)
     (1,026     151