In a prepared statement, Nikola said the Hindenburg report was “replete with misleading information and salacious accusations directed at our founder and chairman” and had hired an attorney to evaluate potential legal recourse. It has said the video did not describe the vehicle as moving under its own propulsion and that the company does have working trucks.
Under the partnership announced with GM, the Detroit-based automaker would take an 11% ownership stake in Nikola and would engineer and build Nikola’s Badger hydrogen fuel cell and electric pickup truck. GM said in a statement Monday that “we acknowledge Trevor Milton’s departure from Nikola and the decision of the Nikola board to move forward.”
GM said it would go ahead and close the agreed transaction “to seize the growth opportunities in broader markets” with its fuel cell and battery systems, and confirmed it would build the Badger.
In exchange for the 10-year deal, GM was to get $2 billion worth of Nikola’s newly issued common stock that will come in three increments through 2025. The deal gives GM another revenue stream for its hydrogen fuel cell, battery and electric vehicle research, positioning the company as a supplier to others who want to enter the market. It also helps to defray some of the huge capital costs of developing the new technology.
GM CEO Mary Barra said last week that GM has worked with a lot of partners before and a “very, very capable team has done the appropriate dilligence” on the Nikola deal.