At first glance, the news seems to be negative. Nikola Motor has already stated it will settle with the US stock exchange regulatory agency, the SEC, for USD 125 million regarding the misdemeanors of its founder and former CEO, Trevor Milton. On the other hand, however, Nikola plans to claw back this money since Milton probably still owns at least a 10 percent stake in Nikola although he is likely to have sold some of his shares and transferred them to relatives. Nikola cannot simply seize these shares but perhaps it will freeze them until an agreement has been reached.
Former CEO, company founder and major shareholder (with an estimated 20 per cent of the company still owned) Trevor Milton has been charged with making “misleading, false statements directly to the investing public” via social media and television, print and podcast interviews, according to an SEC investigation. A court has frozen assets worth US$ 100 million belonging to Trevor Milton. However, the company has nothing to do with it. Construction work at the Coolidge plant is progressing according to plan. In parallel, there were various cooperation agreements with distributors as well as service points for repairs – now already 116. In addition, Nikola is expanding the sector of consumables – electricity supply contracts for battery-electric trucks as well as for the in-house production of hydrogen. The H2 infrastructure is being built in parallel.
US manufacturer Nikola is the company currently making the most waves in the nascent hydrogen market, emerging as another success story similar to Tesla‘s. Its critics, however, consider the Phoenix-based would-be truck maker to be just as overrated as its competitor from Fremont, as it has yet to deliver on most of its promises.