The Nikola Electric Truck That Caught Fire in June Just Reignited This Weekend

Electric vehicle fires can be tough to extinguish, but reigniting after a month is definitely unusual.

byNico DeMattia|
Electric Vehicles photo


A fire broke out at the Phoenix, Arizona headquarters of startup electric semi-truck maker Nikola at the end of June, damaging five trucks. Now, almost a month later to the day, a previously damaged truck unexpectedly caught fire at the Phoenix factory again, according to Reuters.

"At approximately 2 pm today at Nikola HQ, one of the trucks that was previously damaged reignited. No one was injured and the fire was quickly contained," Nikola said in a statement.

The statement didn't mention how the truck caught fire or what the cause was. Electric vehicle batteries can reignite long after being put out due to thermal runaway conditions continuing to spread among cells, though typically not a full month after the initial incident.

Photo | Phoenix Fire Department Phoenix Fire Department

The Drive reached out to Nikola and will update this story when we get more information.

After the original fire last month, Nikola tweeted that it suspected foul play, as there was a vehicle near the scene prior to the fire breaking out. Naturally, after putting out the fire, the Phoenix Fire Department conducted an investigation and didn't find any evidence of foul play. In fact, the cause of the fire was listed as "undetermined."

So that's two truck fires in about a month's time, both without much of an explanation as to why or how they happened. It's not a look for Nikola, a brand whose founder was also convicted of fraud last year. And despite there being no evidence that EVs are more prone to fires, it certainly doesn't help with overall optics.

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