As soon as perceived as a possible rival to Tesla, hydrogen gas cell truck startup Nikola hit the skids final September when short-selling monetary agency Hindenburg Analysis accused the would-be automaker of “intricate fraud.” Hindenburg’s report despatched Nikola into a right away tailspin, restoration from which has been stalled by a seemingly countless string of scandals, from departing executives (together with its founder) to failed enterprise dealings and even accusations of makes an attempt to censor its critics. And the arduous occasions aren’t over, as Nikola’s technological head Jesse Schneider has simply departed the corporate.
Schneider served three years as Nikola’s Govt Vice President, Know-how, Hydrogen and Gas Cells in keeping with his LinkedIn web page, which now registers employment at one other inexperienced transport startup. The previous Nikola exec’s registration shortly follows the aspiring truck maker’s announcement of a sleeper cab, hydrogen gas cell-powered semi-truck with a claimed vary of as much as 900 miles, which brings Nikola both on observe to lastly produce an actual car or simply again on its you-know-what.
Its gas cell professional’s departure marks however the newest pace bump for Nikola, which has bounced over an nearly numerous variety of them since Hindenburg’s damning report. Shortly after its publication, Nikola’s once-vaunted founder Trevor Milton resigned. Since then, Milton has nonetheless discovered himself nonetheless within the highlight for allegedly shady business dealings and accusations of sexual misconduct, from a minimum of his circle of relatives.
Throughout this identical interval, Nikola was accused of outsourcing the design for its One FCEV semi-truck from the college portfolio of a Rimac stylist and attempting to censor its critics by weaponizing YouTube takedowns, shortly earlier than canceling the reveal of its Badger FCEV pickup truck. The Badger venture would later be successfully terminated and its deposits refunded after Nikola’s potential enterprise companion General Motors got cold feet and declined to take a stake within the startup in spite of everything.
Nikola’s solely possibilities of restoration appear to be fulfilling one in all—any of—the lofty guarantees it has made thus far, lots of which the corporate itself admitted in an announcement printed by Reuters to be false. Credibility is vital to the futures of all new car startups, particularly now that legacy carmakers are muscling in on the electric and hydrogen sectors.
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