As if Tesla didn't have enough issues of late, Nikola Motors has filed a lawsuit alleging the company violated patents for its hydrogen-electric semi. Nikola claims the Tesla Semi is "substantially" similar to its own design.
In the lawsuit, filed on Tuesday according to Reuters, Nikola esimates harm from Tesla's patent infringement in excess of $2 billion. Nikola was issued six patents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office between February and April of this year. The six patents deal with the wrap windshield, mid-entry door, fuselage, fender, side cladding, and final design of the Nikola One semi truck.
Tesla revealed its rig, simply called the Semi, in November of 2017 and promised a 500-mile range and "Megacharger" capability. The charging technology will supposedly add around 400 miles of range in 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, Nikola's One semi will utilize a 320-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery to provide up to 1,200 miles or range. That's with the help of a hydrogen fuel cell, which acts as the range extender. To support the range-extender, Nikola has plans to build 364 fueling stations this year. Nikola introduced its truck in December of 2016.
Tesla responded to the lawsuit and dismissed any wrongdoing in comments to Reuters. “It’s patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit,” a Tesla spokesman said.
Details since the Semi's introduction have been few and far between, but if all goes according to plan, the Tesla rig will enter production next year. Nikola plans to begin production of its semi by 2020 at the latest in Arizona.