The recently announced renewed job cuts by Tesla have prompted the US startup Nikola Motor, specialising in fuel cell trucks, to make a special job offer: Nikola CEO Trevor Milton offers affected Tesla employees a job perspective in his company in a LinkedIn article.
From Milton’s message, it is clear that Nikola is in a good position with “large cash reserves”. In August last year, the hydrogen truck maker raised over 100 million dollars in the first week of their month-long financing round. The company has strong allies such as Bosch, who supply the US-American startup with the eAxle for their fuel cell truck, the Nikola One.
In his LinkedIn message, Nikola CEO Trevor Milton strikes a friendly tone, even assuring interested parties that he is sure that Tesla would want to keep everyone if they could and that layoffs are the result of a growing and competitive market. He says, “We have hired as many as fit our positions from the #faraday and #gm layoffs so this is not a bash on Tesla. We are hiring hundreds of positions and have large cash reserves with a great company culture. See our glass door.”
However, the two companies do have a history of some kind of rivalry: Nikola insisted that Tesla had stolen ideas from its truck patents. Tesla, however, received the asked-for patents for their electric semi-trailers in September last year. Also interesting is that Tesla boss Elon Musk famously made disparaging comments in 2016 about hydrogen technology, which he called “fool cells”. But as the success of Nikola attests, “fool cell” trucks seem to be doing rather well despite his predictions, with the longer-range and higher power density especially suiting long-haul, heavy-duty vehicles. Korea too has invested heavily in hydrogen technology with their hydrogen economy plan.
Since Milton announced they were filling “hundreds” of positions, and not thousands, Nikola Motor Company will certainly not succeed in hiring all 3,000 Tesla employees affected. If, however, only part of the workforce is given a chance, this would be a great win-win situation for everyone involved.