Nikola is defending itself against claims that its plans to build electric big rigs are an “intricate fraud.” The charges came a few days ago in a report published by short-selling firm Hindenburg Research, which accused the publicly traded company’s CEO Trevor Milton of making “dozens of false statements.” On Monday evening, Bloomberg reported that the SEC is looking into the merits of that report, sending its stock price down.
Our investigation of the site and text messages from a former employee reveal that the video was an elaborate ruse— $NKLA had the truck towed to the top of a hill on a remote stretch of road and simply filmed it rolling down the hill. pic.twitter.com/n2NLDGInzR
— Hindenburg Research (@HindenburgRes) September 10, 2020
GM recently announced a plan to invest $2 billion in Nikola, just days before the report surfaced, which includes a claim that video of its Nikola One prototype in motion was faked, with the truck towed up a hill to let gravity help it roll down. In Nikola’s response to “set the record straight,” it claims that elements of its Nikola One proof of concept were functional, including the batteries, gearbox and inverters, but admits it never did the work to make that model capable of driving under its own propulsion.