Hydrogen truck startup Nikola Motor has hit Tesla (tsla) with a $2 billion patent infringement lawsuit that accuses the corporate run by CEO Elon Musk of stealing sure points of its semi truck design.
Nikola filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Arizona federal court docket. The lawsuit claims that Tesla’s electrical semi, which was unveiled in November 2017, infringes on a number of of its patents, together with Nikola’s mid-entry door, fuselage, and wrap windshield that’s designed to provide the motive force an unobstructed view of the highway.
Nikola Motor is designing and constructing its personal driverless, hydrogen gas cell–powered Class eight truck. The firm posted a design of its Nikola One freight truck in May 2016. The firm unveiled the Nikola One in December 2016. It can be creating a Nikola Two day-cab, which can start testing in fall 2018. It’s anticipated to enter full manufacturing in 2021.
In January, Nikola Motor introduced plans to construct a $1 billion hydrogen-electric semi truck manufacturing facility in a suburb of Phoenix.
“It’s patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit,” a Tesla spokesperson mentioned in an emailed assertion.
Four months after Nikola first revealed its design, Aaron Hoyos, a recruiter for Tesla, reached out to Nikola’s chief engineer Kevin Lynk, the lawsuit alleges. In that e-mail, the lawsuit alleges that Hoyos advised Lynk that “Tesla is building a new team to focus on development heavy Class A trucks” and mentioned his background can be a “good fit.”
Tesla launched a teaser picture of its Tesla Semi in April 2017. Six months later, simply days earlier than Tesla would reveal its Tesla Semi truck at a splashy occasion, Nikola despatched a letter demanding the corporate not proceed with the revealing till the patent infringement was resolved, the lawsuit says. Nikola says within the lawsuit that Tesla by no means responded.
The lawsuit highlights an more and more heated competitors within the trucking business. Dozens of different corporations, from truckmakers like Daimler, Navistar, and Volkswagen to startups like Peloton and Embark in addition to Uber’s Otto and Waymo, the erstwhile Google self-driving mission, are pursuing what they consider is the next generation of trucking.