According tomedia reports, hydrogen-powered heavy truck start-up Nikola has not yet produced what people can actually buy, but for some reason its market value has reached crazy levels. On top of that, CEO Trevor Milton tweeted that he is increasingly optimistic about the company’s future.
At this point, none of this should be particularly surprising, nor is it surprising that startup founders are over-touting their products. However, there is a difference between excessive speculation and naked deception, and Milton appears to belong to the latter, according to a Bloomberg report released Wednesday.
The company’s Nikola One hydrogen fuel cell truck was unveiled as early as 2016, and Milton said it could drive on its own, but that was not the case, the article said. The truck didn’t even have a fuel cell, according to Bloomberg. Milton even confirmed that the prototype was never driven by its own strength.
To tell you the truth, trucks can’t drive on their own is not a big deal, after all, many concept cars can’t be achieved except for some lights and seats. However, according to Milton’s account, it began to be considered dishonest, and now, about three and a half years later, he has made $7.8 billion from such dishonesty.
Nikola had planned to hand over its Nikola One truck to customers in 2020, but the company also seems to be over-excited about it. To be honest, it’s not like tesla’s $35,000 Model 3, but it does highlight Nikola’s strange situation, which has a market capitalization of $22 billion, but has no product or revenue plans for 2020.
What does Nicola’s CEO think about this? Maybe it’s clear to see the tweets he posted.
While he acknowledged all the deadly facts in the article, he was outraged and called on the family to publish a full, unedited version of the interview. Still, the damage to Nikola may have been done.