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Xos Trucks shares drop 14.5% on 1st day of public trading

SPAC-backed startup gets same disdain as other newly public electrification entries

Xos Trucks co-founders Dakota Semler and Giordano Sordoni will get $20 million and own a majority of the electric chassis maker company that began public trading Friday. (Photo: Xos Trucks)

Shares of Xos Trucks finished 14.5% lower in their first day of public trading Friday as the electrification startup met the disdain that other emissions-free truck makers and infrastructure companies have endured.

The shares opened at $8.64 on the Nasdaq, rose to $9, and then fell as low as $7.27 before closing at $7.55. At that price, shareholders who purchased stock of NextGen Acquisition Corp. — the special purpose acquisition company sponsor of Xos — are in a loss position from the $10-per-share price they paid. 

Those who received warrants to purchase Xos (NASDAQ: XOS) shares at $11.50 as an inducement to invest in NextGen are similarly underwater.

It is a common refrain for electrification SPACs that have gone public. Electric bus maker and infrastructure provider Proterra Inc. closed at $9.07 Friday; hybrid electric powertrain maker Hyliion Holdings closed at $8.17, and Nikola Corp., the first of the electrification SPACs to go public in June 2020, closed at $9.44.

Business combination completed Wednesday

Xos completed its business combination Wednesday with NextGen, a shell company created to merge with a startup and bring it public. Xos received $575 million in cash from NextGen, consisting of $335 million raised from investors in a blank check initial public offering and $220 million from private investors. Xos has an enterprise value of $2 billion.

Formerly known as Thor Trucks, Xos develops purpose-built electric medium- and heavy-duty last-mile commercial vehicles using a custom-designed modular battery powertrain and chassis system for maximum flexibility in Class 5 to Class 8 commercial vehicles.


Customers of its X-platform include FedEx Ground operators, Loomis, Thompson Cat, Lonestar and UniFirst.

Back orders of 6,000 trucks

Xos claims a backlog of 6,000 orders, including an order for 100 trucks from Thompson Truck Centers, a subsidiary of Thompson Machinery, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. The two companies are targeting 1,000 medium- and heavy-duty trucks over the next three years. Most of the bodies are expected to be built by Morgan Olson.

“We founded Xos to provide a technology platform for our customers that aligns with their sustainability goals and climate change mitigation efforts and also delivers significant total cost of ownership saving,” Xos co-founder, Chairman and CEO Dakota Semler said in a press release. “This transaction will fund our delivery commitments and our strong growth well into the future.”

Semler and co-founder Giordano Sordoni get $20 million of the private investment in public equity (PIPE) funding, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The two and other Xos stockholders will own 64.9% of the merged company. Assuming no redemptions, public shareholders own 19.1%, SPAC sponsor NextGen, 4.8%; and PIPE investors 11.2%.

“As a well-capitalized public company … Xos is ideally positioned to address a $100 billion total addressable market for medium- and heavy-duty last-mile commercial electric vehicles,” said George Mattson, co-chairman of NextGen and lead independent director of Xos.

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Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.