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Nikola Breaks Ground on Factory in Arizona

The first phase of construction should be completed next year, the electric truck maker said.
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Nikola kicked off construction of a manufacturing plant in Arizona, where the company plans to build its initial lineup of battery and hydrogen-powered trucks. 

The plant is based in Coolidge, Ariz. and will span one million square feet, Nikola said in a press release on Thursday. Nikola  (NKLA) - Get Free Report shares were down 6.7% to $34.12 on Thursday afternoon.

"These next 12 months will be even more exciting as we see this facility go up and as we add more Arizonans to the Nikola team,” said Nikola founder Trevor Milton in a statement. 

The first phase of construction will be completed in 2021, the company said, with the second phase done around 12 to 18 months after that. Nikola plans to build full trucks at the facility by the end of the second phase, and to begin selling its hydrogen fuel cell-powered trucks in 2023.

After its June public offering, which was done through a special-purpose merger, Nikola shares surged in value for several weeks. Its stock has since cooled off and is roughly flat compared to its June 4 IPO. 

Nikola shares also took a dive late last week after an SEC filing related to privately-held stock warrants issued during its IPO triggered a wave of trading activity.

In a recent note, Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner praised Nikola's fuel-cell solution, writing that zero-emission commercial trucking is "poised to take off, driven by global regulations." But he declined to recommend the stock at current prices, writing that Nikola hasn't yet produced any vehicles, and that risks weren't properly accounted for in its valuation at the time.