In 2015, entrepreneur Trevor Milton, who is not the most impeccable company, founded Nikola Motor, which is expected to master the production of electric trucks, both battery and hydrogen fuel cells.
According to The Wall Street Journal, this week, there's going to be a lawsuit against investors by Trevor Milton, who officially left Nikola the previous year. Then investor activists were able to prove that the company's progress in developing hydrogen fuel cell trucks was greatly exaggerated, and in order to create a commercial with an alleged prototype, the car was simply sent off the mountain freely to film. After such disclosures, Milton was forced to resign, and law enforcement claims since then have not extended to Nikola itself, but are clearly damaging to its reputation, as the capitalization of the truck manufacturer now does not exceed $2.4 billion.
Meanwhile, in the summer of 2020, at the time of entering the public market through the takeover of a special formed company, the figure was $3.3 billion, and in the early days of the sale, it went up to $30 billion, eclipsed some old-timers of the market like Ford Motor. American regulators believe that Trevor Milton manipulated data to mislead investors and attract more funds for Nikola development. Before leaving the company, he bought a ranch in Utah for $32.5 million and a private jet plane.
The prosecution believes that, by some statements, Trevor Milton misled unskilled investors; for example, Nikola ' s plans to produce the Badger electric pickup truck in conjunction with GM have not been implemented, while the founder of the first company continued to claim that a running prototype already exists and that one of its functions would be to have a drinking fountain that uses a water condensate produced by fuel cells to supply the passengers with suitable water.
In 2020, Milton stated that Nikola was capable of producing hydrogen at a price of $4 per kilogram, four times the average market price. In the view of prosecutors, the company never produced hydrogen on its own. The defense plans to base its work on terms such as "prototype" and "demonstructural sample" to distinguish Milton's statements concerning the properties of actual products. The founder of Nikola may face a total risk of up to 25 years' imprisonment if his guilt is proven, but recent practice indicates a significant reduction in the actual sentences for similar cases. The disserting of the founder of Nikola in April from the start of the supply of the first battery trucks, and the hydrogen fuel cell versions are expected to be released into the market in a couple of years.