Nikola Electrical Semi Truck Hearth Incident: Faulty Batteries A Chance

A number of days after a number of Nikola electrical semi-trucks have been engulfed in fireplace in Phoenix, new data revealed that the vans’ battery modules had extreme defects. The corporate suspected foul play, however a current investigation paints a unique image of what might have prompted the fires.

The Phoenix fireplace division responded to the incident, and its Hazardous Supplies crew rushed to the spot to douse the flames. A brand new report reveals that engineers detected corrosion within the cells and that the cells would self-discharge, as per inside paperwork obtained by Electrek.


Nikola Company agreed to accumulate battery provider Romeo Energy final yr for $144 million. Romeo specializes within the design and manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for industrial car purposes, and the transaction is claimed to save lots of Nikola $350 million yearly on battery-related prices. Romeo produces the Hermes and Legion battery modules for the Nikola Tre Class 8 semi truck.

The staff investigating the matter discovered that a number of modules confronted the identical cell corrosion situation. They traced the difficulty to laser welding, which punctured battery cells within the modules. The cells have been corroding inside simply two check cycles, doubtlessly producing extra warmth and rising the resistance on the joint, which could have led to thermal occasions inside the pack.

Furthermore, engineers aware of the difficulty urged halting the manufacturing of defective batteries, however Romeo’s then-CEO Susan Brennan reportedly determined to proceed the manufacturing whereas initiating efforts to unravel the issue parallelly. Nikola was mentioned to have tens of millions of {dollars} value of modules for electrical semi vans, which it was in a rush to put in into its vans.

A number of the broken modules may need made their manner into buyer vans, an insider informed Electrek. Nikola was conscious of the difficulty however claims it didn’t put any of the broken modules into its vans. Additional investigations are at present underway to find out the precise reason for the fires, and for now, cell injury is barely a chance.

The Iveco-based Nikola Tre semi truck, made in Coolidge, Arizona, will get an estimated vary of 330 miles from an enormous 733-kilowatt-hour battery pack. It may possibly cost to 80 % in simply 90 minutes at a fee of 350 kilowatts.

The corporate halted manufacturing of this mannequin final month attributable to stock pile-up and disappointing gross sales. It manufactured 63 items of the BEV in Q1 2023, whereas the order backlog for the FCEV is 140 items. Its losses have reached nearly $170 million, and the hearth incident is unlikely to make issues any higher.