Nikola Corporation recently announced that it is working on prototypes of the new Nikola Tre semi-truck, with plans to begin testing later this year. The EV startup aims to launch the vehicles commercially by Q4 of 2021.
Per a recent report from Reuters, Nikola is working with vehicle equipment maker CNH Industrial to build the new Nikola Tre semi-truck prototypes. The announcement comes just days after Nikola was lambasted by a report from Hindenburg Research that accuses the EV startup of taking part in “intricate fraud.”
The Hindenburg report outlines how Nikola founder, Trevor Milton, overstated the company’s tech capabilities, including accusations that the company’s new battery system does not exist, and that some components the company claims as its own were actually purchased from other companies.
The report is titled “Nikola: How to parlay An Ocean of Lies Into a Partnership With the Largest Auto OEM in America,” referring to a recently announced strategic partnership between General Motors and Nikola.
Under the new partnership, GM will build and validate the Nikola Badger EV pickup truck, while also providing the its Ultium battery system and Hydrotec fuel cell technology, the latter of which will be used to power the Nikola Tre, Nikola Two, and Nikola One semi-trucks. Meanwhile, GM takes an 11-percent stake in Nikola.
“Fuel cells will become increasingly important to the semi-truck market because they are more efficient than gas or diesel,” GM recently said in a press release. “General Motors sees additional growth opportunities in multiple transportation, stationary and mobile-power end markets.”
As we covered previously, a former General Motors executive, Steve Girsky, helped to move the new partnership deal forward.
Nikola shares soared following the announcement that the company was partnering with GM, but tanked after the Hindenberg report was released days later. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a probe to verify some of the claims made in the latest Hindenburg report, including allegations that Nikola misled investors.