Electromobility: Has Nikola Motor Company Cheated?

Sharp price slump after allegations of fraud: The Nikola Motor Company’s shares fell sharply on September 11th after the US investment company Hindenburg Research raised allegations of fraud against the US electric vehicle manufacturer. Nikola, in turn, believes in price manipulation.

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Hindenburg Research claims in a study, Nikola systematically lied to his investors and business partners. Nikola founder and boss Trevor Milton “an ocean of lies” spread. That’s what Hindenburg did “Extensive evidence gathered – including recorded phone calls, text messages, private emails, and behind-the-scenes photos”.

Nikola is said to have given false information

Hindenburg accuses Nikola of having forged a video of the Nikola One fuel cell semi-trailer truck: The vehicle was not driven, but rather towed up a hill and then rolled down. Claims that the company made cheap hydrogen are false. Information on the performance of fuel cells and batteries are “hot air”.

Milton resigned via Twitter a detailed and factual response to the study that would refute all allegations. It should therefore be published on the Friday before the opening of stock exchange trading. Instead, the company hired a law firm to contact the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and investigate other legal options.

Because of the study and the allegations, the Nikola share crashed. It lost 15 percent of its value. The price had just risen sharply after the US automobile company General Motors (GM) had taken over an eleven percent stake in Nikola.

Nikola accuses Hindenburg of manipulating the share price. Hindenburg has a short position in Nikola stock. With this, the owner makes a profit when the stock falls. Hindenburg would therefore have an interest in the price decline. Nikola has been listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange since this spring.

The Nikola Motor Company develops and builds semi-trailer trucks with electric drive with both batteries and fuel cells as electricity suppliers. There is also a model specially designed for the European market. It is to be manufactured in Ulm. Nikola also developed electrically powered quads and jet skis.

The battery version of the articulated lorry is due to hit the market next year, the fuel cell truck in 2023. Nikola says that reservations worth 10 billion US dollars have been made.

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