Phoenix Fire Department

A fire broke out at the headquarters of electric semi truck maker Nikola Motors, destroying multiple trucks. The company states it suspects “foul play” in the fire as investigations into the blaze proceed.

The fire occurred early Friday morning behind company headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona according to a company tweet. Photos of the aftermath show two trucks burned to a crisp, and two of their neighbors having sustained serious damage. According to Nikola, a vehicle was spotted near the damaged trucks shortly before the fire, leading to an accusation of “foul play.”

Hazardous Materials crews from @PHXFire & @TempeFire are on the scene of multiple electric semi trucks on fire near 40th St and Broadway Rd, please avoid the area.

— Phoenix Fire Dept. (@PHXFire) June 23, 2023

The fire prompted a large emergency response, with Fox 10 Phoenix reporting approximately 50 firefighters called in from surrounding areas along with hazmat crews. Fire department officials reportedly told Fox 10 that the fire began in one of the trucks’ batteries from a chemical reaction. Emergency crews will remain onsite for a prolonged period according to ABC 15 Arizona, owing to the risk of the batteries reigniting on their own. No injuries have been reported.

If the alleged bad actor isn’t identified, the fire could seriously mar the image of a truck company whose past has been anything but dull. Nikola was originally built on the promise of a hydrogen-powered semi truck, though a video of a Nikola on the move was later revealed to be an unpowered chassis rolled down a hill. Despite criminal charges against founder Trevor Milton, the company managed to put its electric semi trucks into production before Tesla, though it had to cancel its “Badger” electric pickup in the process.

Nikola remains a relatively small business though, reporting 64 sales and deliveries in Q1. If the fire turns out not to be sabotage, it’s hard to see that number climbing with legacy truck manufacturers in the game—not to mention Tesla too.

Early this morning behind our Phoenix headquarters, a fire occurred which affected multiple battery electric trucks. No one has been injured. Foul play is suspected as a vehicle was seen in the area of the affected trucks just prior to the incident and an investigation is…

— Nikola Motor Company (@nikolamotor) June 23, 2023

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The post Nikola Claims ‘Foul Play’ in Electric Semi Truck Battery Fire at HQ appeared first on The Drive.

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