According to a new report from Bloomberg, electric vehicle company, Nikola and its founder, Trevor Milton, exaggerated the prototype’s capabilities on stage.
The report says based on Milton’s on-stage presentation, he suggested the Nikola One was drivable, but unnamed sources note that is not the case. The truck was “inoperable and missing key components to power itself,” claim sources. Milton told Bloomberg in response, “I never deceived anyone.”
Sources said the truck did not have gears or motors. Despite having a sticker “H2 Zero Emission Hydrogen Electric” on the side, no fuel cells were on board.
“There wasn’t a fuel cell in the truck. We never claimed there was,” Milton said to Bloomberg. The founder said for safety reasons, motors, gears and other key parts were removed from the vehicle.
Nikola has been dominating headlines as the company’s stock has surged to as high as $93.99 USD per share, despite showing no revenue for this year, nor having shipped or produced its fuel-cell electric trucks. Hydrogen stations are not slated to be operational until 2022 or later. The company went public earlier this year and since then shares have surged over 180% in June.
The company says it has 14,000 reservations worth roughly $10 billion USD in theoretical sales. Initially, the Nikola One was said to deliver in 2020, but nearly 3.5 years later nothing has materialized.
As of writing, shares of NKLA are down 0.17%, after closing at $64.06 USD per share, up 1.8% on the day.
Update: Nikola founder Trevor Milton shared a letter sent to Bloomberg by his legal team, as he plans to sue the publication and reporter Ed Ludlow in regards to the article referenced above:
This just got sent to Bloomberg by our legal team. I wont stand for lies from Journalists when they knowingly deceive to harm others – It hurts all journalists. Wait until the full recorded interview comes out and it will expose Ed Ludlow for who he is. pic.twitter.com/2bbyH84AEc
— Trevor Milton (@nikolatrevor) June 18, 2020