Trevor Milton, founder of the new US car-building force Nikola, has been sentenced to four years in prison, well below the 11-year sentence demanded by prosecutors when they sentenced Milton in the United States District Court in Manhattan. It is reported that during his tenure as CEO of Nikola, Trevor Milton began to spread lies about the electric truck startup for personal gain in 2019, causing investors to lose huge amounts of money.
In 2016, Nikola held a press conference to launch its first hydrogen truck product, Nikola One. Trevor Milton paints a hype about Nikola One's technology, saying the hydrogen truck takes just 15 minutes on a single charge, runs more than 1000 miles on a single charge, and has zero emissions and no pollution. In the same day's press release, Trevor Milton said that Nikola has been ahead of other automakers in technology for 10-15 years, and boasts that it has surpassed Daimler, Volvo and other mainstream truck companies within 1-2 years.
On Sept. 9, 2020, short seller Hindenburg Research released a scathing report on Nikola and its founders. The report points out that Nikola never developed hydrogen fuel technology and cashed out by forging a large number of orders. Even more bizarre, the agency pointed out that the Nikola One displayed by Nikola was not a truck because the car itself did not have power. Hindenburg said that in the official promotional video, Nikola One appears to be able to drive because it is placed on a hillside and glides down by gravity. Nikola made the car model look like it was speeding by adjusting the shooting angle and editing acceleration during the video shooting. Eventually, Nikola pleaded guilty to the charges, and founder Trevor Milton resigned on September 20, 2020. However, in the trial, Trevor Milton denied that he resigned because of the charges, but because of personal family reasons.
Founded in 2015, Nikola said it would use hydrogen fuel cell technology to build zero-emission heavy trucks, giving it a unique position in the highly competitive field of electric trucks. The company won a huge victory in 2020. On June 3, 2020, Nikola announced a merger with VectoIQ Acquisition Corp. Complete the merger to become the first stock of hydrogen energy heavy truck in the world. Three days after listing, Nikola's share price doubled, with a market capitalization of up to $34 billion, surpassing Ford, a century-old carmaker.
On September 8, 2020, General Motors announced that it had reached a strategic cooperation with Nikola to obtain $2 billion of newly issued common shares of Nikola with equivalent non-cash assets. GM will own 11% of Nikola and can nominate a board member.
The carmaker said it would help Nikola design and build its hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, including pickup Badge. According to Nikola, the Nikola Badge has 906hp, 980lb-ft torque and more than 8000 lbs of traction, the fuel-cell hybrid version has a range of 600mph, the electric version has a range of 300mph, and the 100-meter acceleration time is exactly the same as Tesla's Cybertruck. From the data of various indicators, Nikola Badge directly attacked Tesla Cyber.
The day after GM partnered with Nokila, Nokila was accused of fraud, eventually causing Nokila's share price to continue to decline. So far, Nikola shares are trading at just $0.820, with a total market capitalization of just $949 million.
In February 2023, Nikola said in a government document that the company could run out of money within the next 12 months and might need to "modify or terminate" its business. In the first three quarters of 2023, Nikola posted revenue of $24.31 million, compared with $44.26 million a year earlier, and a net loss of $813 million, compared with $562 million a year earlier, according to the latest results. Of this total, third-quarter Nikola revenue was-$1.73 million, compared with $24.24 million in the same period last year, and a net loss of $426 million, compared with $236 million in the same period last year. Nikola's cash and equivalents increased to $362.8 million as of September 30, 2023, mainly through the sale of new shares, according to the results.
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