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Nikola Sells $5,000 Reservations for Truck With No Prototype

  • Production plan depends on deal with established automaker
  • Refundable deposits let buyers wait for delivery in 2022
Rendering of the Nikola Badger.
Rendering of the Nikola Badger.Source: Nikola
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Even in the innovative world of electric vehicles, it’s an unusual proposition: Plunk down as much as $5,000 now to reserve the right in a few years to buy a battery-powered truck, before seeing a prototype or manufacturing plan to assure it’ll ever be built.

That’s what Nikola Corp., the Phoenix-based company whose sudden stock surge has captured the attention of investors, is asking customers to do starting Monday. The reservations, which are refundable, take a page from Tesla Inc.’s playbook, but they require would-be vehicle buyers to take an even bigger leap of faith than Elon Musk ever did.