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Tesla Sued by Competitor Over Semi Truck Technology

Tesla is under fire again, this time over the technology behind its Semi truck.

A competitor, Utah-based Nikola Motor Company, filed a $2 billion lawsuit against Tesla, claiming the Palo Alto-based electric carmaker copied some of its designs and patents.

Tesla introduced its Semi truck with a party-like atmosphere in November. CEO Elon Musk talked about how because of the truck's battery and design, it would surpass other semis currently on the road.

"What that means is pulling a load up a hill, you're earning 50 percent more per mile than a diesel," he said. "That's a gigantic difference."

Nikola says in the lawsuit it unveiled its truck about a year ahead of Tesla.

Attorney Richard Alexander says Tesla, already deeply in the red, doesn't need this kind of speedbump.

"The shareholders have to be concerned when there's such a massive claim," Alexander said. "Tesla's strongest suit is that it has outstanding batteries. They far surpass the quality of any other vehicle in the United States, and that's the key to its success in the trucking business."

Tesla released a statement, saying in part, "It’s patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit."

Meanwhile investors seem to be more focused on near-term issues, like the Model 3 sedan. In its earnings call Wednesday, Tesla reported a record net loss. During the call, Musk said the company will be focusing on filling Model 3 orders before focusing on the truck.

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