Nikola fraud threatens future of hydrogen trucks

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The mass commercialization of hydrogen powered electric trucks may be further away after confirmation of fraud involving Nikola, which specializes in designing trucks with this technology. Recently, the company Hindenburg Research discovered that the company’s founder, Trevor Milton, lied during the presentation event of Nikola One in 2016, when he said that the vehicle was 100% functional.

Nikola even argued that the news was old and no longer made sense, since it no longer sells Nikola One models, and currently has a functional prototype of the Nikola Two.

However, Milton admitted that, at the time, the promotional video used the truck going down a slope, without being connected, which forced his resignation last Sunday (20).

Yesterday (23), after The Wall Street Journal published that the company is struggling to find partners to build a planned network of hydrogen gas stations, Nikola’s shares plunged 26%, ending the session at $ 21.15. That figure is 57% less than on September 8, when the company announced that GM has committed to designing and manufacturing its Badger pickup.

Hydrogen supply network is vital for Nikola

After the announcement of the partnership with GM, Nikola’s business was taking off, and the company seemed to find partners more easily.

Now, it seems, his plans to market bulk hydrogen-powered trucks may be delayed.

Instead of selling trucks, Nikola should rent them at a fixed rate per kilometer, covering fuel and maintenance. This was the strategy found for the company to reduce the risk that customers will assume when purchasing an unproven technology, which includes a planned network of hydrogen filling stations, which would only be viable through an agreement with several partner companies.

However, after the Hindenburg Research report, the conclusion of that agreement was postponed.


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