NOTEBOOK - One Good Read:Nikola v. Tesla: A tale of two companies

Here's how those trucks work: Hydrogen gas in compressed tanks is combined with oxygen from the outside air. On average, Nikola's trucks will cost an estimated $400,000, according to Reuters.

Earlier Wednesday, Tesla was hit with a lawsuit from an aptly named competitor, Nikola Motor.

Budweiser beer's parent company wants its vehicles to produce zero carbon emissions by 2025.

Nikola Chief Executive Officer Trevor Milton said the company plans to build more than 700 hydrogen stations across the United States and Canada by 2028 and the company has almost $9 billion worth of pre-orders, though its trucks are still in the prototype phase.

Orders for alternative-fuel vehicles account for a tiny share of the overall heavy-duty truck market, in large part because of concerns about how far they can travel and battery weight.

The all-electric Tesla Semi is scheduled to enter production in 2019.

Under the skin, there is one major difference between the two trucks.

But Anheuser-Busch isn't staging a contest between the two trucks.

This is not the first time that Anheuser-Busch placed on medium-haul trucks powered by renewable energy.

On 22 September 2016 -four months after Nikola published its design, Aaron Hoyos, a recruiter for Tesla, reached out to Kevin Lynk (Nikola's Chief Engineer). We need to think of network as thousands of routes with very different distances, so both solutions can coexist and play a different role.

In the suit, Nikola noted that Tesla has never claimed that its design was unique.

Electric-hydrogen truck startup Nikola Motor Co. apparently plans to sue automotive industry behemoth, Tesla Inc., for cribbing its design and claiming that its patents were infringed.

In a statement to The Verge, Tesla spokesperson said, "It's patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit".

But Nikola believes the lawsuit's proof speaks for itself. "If they fail, it hurts us".

Nikola also landed an order of 1K electric trucks from U S Xpress, while Tesla has smaller orders from FedEx, UPS, Walmart and DHL on the books.

Nikola's decision to accept orders for its hydrogen fuel cell trucks without a deposit might be seen as foolish from a cash flow perspective, but it also means companies can throw around big orders with little financial skin in the game.

Tesla originally offered truck reservations for just $5,000 but that price has been upped to $20,000 for a "base reservation".

  • Carolyn Briggs