Does Tesla have 2019 competitors

Head of Tesla competitor Nikola throws in the towel

The smaller Tesla competitor Nikola is coming under increasing pressure after allegations of allegedly misleading investors. The boss and founder of the electric and fuel cell car developer, Trevor Milton, announced his resignation on Monday night. The shares crashed in pre-market US trading at times by over a third.

The investment company Hindenburg Research last week accused Nikola of "complex fraud" based on numerous lies by founder Trevor Milton. Business partners are "misled" by the startup with the "false claim that they have important technologies". As a financial speculator, Hindenburg bets against Nikola and profits when the company's shares fall. But Milton has so far not really been able to refute the allegations and even had to admit to having bluffed at an important product presentation. Nikola had to admit that his electric truck did not even drive a video presentation, but rolled down a hill without its own drive. "I intend to defend myself against false accusations made against me by outside critics," Milton wrote on Twitter. Nikola has also denied all allegations and threatened to take legal action against Hindenburg. The US Department of Justice and the SEC are dealing with the case.

Cooperation with GM, Bosch and Iveco

Nikola competes with Tesla, among other things, in the development of electric pick-up trucks and trucks. The company from Phoenix in the US state of Arizona has been shaking up the stock market since the middle of the year and caused great euphoria there with ambitious growth plans. In the meantime, investors rated Nikola even higher than the US auto giant Ford, although the company has not yet offered a single marketable product.

Nikola had reached a major milestone barely two weeks ago. Nikola entered into a strategic partnership with General Motors (GM), the largest US automaker in terms of sales and market share. GM is set to manufacture Nikolas' highly anticipated Badger pickup truck. Nikola also cooperates with the German supplier Bosch and the traditional truck manufacturer Iveco. Battery-powered Nikola trucks are to be built in its German plant in Ulm. So far, Nikolas partners have continued to stand by the US company despite the fierce allegations.

Nikola was founded in 2015. Since then, the Milton team has been working on alternative drive technologies for trucks and large SUVs. In the future, these will run on the basis of electric batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. The startup is also working on charging stations for hydrogen trucks. So far, the plans have remained largely theoretical, and Nikola has not yet put a single finished model of his eco-truck on the road.

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    The most popular electric car of 2019

    A look back at the past year: In 2019, the Tesla Model 3 was the most frequently registered car with an alternative drive. Almost 445,000 vehicles were new on the road. In the US, the Model 3 costs at least $ 37,990. Still - because Tesla boss Elon Musk emphasized this June: "What bothers me the most is that our cars are not more affordable. We have to fix that."

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    Number two

    The Nissan Leaf followed closely behind the Tesla Model 3 in 2019 with around 434,000 cars sold. Last year things went well for the Japanese automaker, this year Nissan slipped into the red for the first time in eleven years and announced a loss of almost 6 billion euros.

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    Model S in third place

    In third place of the most popular e-cars in 2019 is a Telsa again: the Model S. And 2020? "Like Porsche, Tesla is the clear winner in the crisis. While everyone is reducing their production capacities, Tesla is implementing a huge growth program," says auto expert Dudenhöffer. Tesla is investing in new plants such as in Brandenburg. However, the Model Y is to be built there.

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    Compromise for more range

    The Model S is followed by the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid. Mitsubishi would also like to offer purely battery-electric cars in the next two years. But only for customers in Asia. The other regions are covered by the partners Renault and Nissan.

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    A dinosaur among the hybrids

    ... and yet still in great demand. The Toyota Prius made its debut in Japan in 1997 and has also been available in Germany since 2001. In 2019, almost 210,000 plug-in hybrids of the Toyota Prius were sold worldwide. The Japanese carmaker sees the future more in fuel cell technology.

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    BAIC? Never heard!

    In China, electric cars sell like hotcakes that nobody in Europe knows. In sixth place worldwide, the BAIC EC 2019 was the most successful car on the Chinese market. The BAIC EU also sold well internationally. From 2025, the Chinese car company BAIC only wants to produce e-cars. Although more than 95 percent of the cars sold in China are pure combustion engines.

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    Once upon a time: the Chevrolet Volt

    In eighth place among the electric cars in 2019 is GM's Chevrolet Volt. The car presented in 2007 was a quick response to Elektor pioneer Tesla, who presented the roadster a year earlier. However, the Chevrolet Volt did not come onto the market until 2010. It is no longer produced. But: GM plans to offer at least 20 new electric cars by 2023.

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    Small but electric

    ... and the Renault Zoe is very popular in Europe: It was the best-selling electric car in Europe in the first half of 2020. Last year, the little Stromer was ranked 9th among the most popular electric cars worldwide. Germans are also very happy to choose the Renault Zoe when they switch to electromobility.

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    Finally a German e-car

    ... even if only in tenth place: the BMW i3. The German carmaker has long been accused of not having made enough steam in the electrical segment. That should change now. Five fully electric vehicle models are to be launched on the market by the end of next year.

    Author: Insa Wrede

hb / iw (dpa, afp, rtr)