Only five days After Trevor Milton, the founder of Nikola accused, in part to allegedly mislead investors with pictures of a moving truck secretly rolling downhill, the launch of hydrogen trucks released footage of a newer prototype uphill.
The startup showed the video a presentation its second quarter results on tuesday. (It also published the material YouTube.) While it may be a moral profit for the company to show its truck climbing a 12 percent hill given Milton’s saddest clip, the photos will be released alongside the bad news: Nikola now expects to deliver half of the trucks this year than originally estimated. What’s worse, the company said, a global shortage of parts could make it harder to achieve even a new, lower goal.
Nikola was the first high-profile transportation company merged with a specialist contracting company at the beginning of SPAC boom last year. Many others have followed, including half a dozen electric cars that have also not manufactured or sold production cars. Nikola is also not alone in drawing attention to regulation or the attention of prosecutors. The Ministry of Justice is investigating Lordstown Motors, and the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating a few other potential electric car manufacturers.
But Milton waras well as his alleged fraud made Nikola an attractive target for closer scrutiny — including the short-selling research firm Hindenburg Research, which began the fall of Milton. The fact that the company is still showing that it has a truck that can climb a hill is a small miracle in itself.
As the public spotlight shifts to the problems of other startups, Nikola now has the opportunity to be among his first peers to rise during the exact period of SPAC’s tight merger. It has a major reputation renewal, a lack of parts to navigate, and continues to lose more than $ 100 million quarterly. Yes, and it continues to try to prove its basic premise that hydrogen fuel is a practical solution for long-distance transport.
In other words: an uphill climb, albeit one that looks steeper than 12 percent.