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Nikola Founder Threatens To Sue Bloomberg After Report Of Company Peddling A Hollowed-Out Truck

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

You've heard of a Potemkin village. Now meet your Potemkin semi-truck.

That's exactly what Bloomberg seems to suggest that Nikola founder Trevor Milton was peddling in 2016 with the company's Nikola One, according to a story that hit the wires late in the trading day Wednesday. Now, Nikola's founder is threatening to sue Bloomberg for what it calls a deceptive report that "hurts all journalists". 

After making comments at a December 2016 event supposedly suggesting that the company's Nikola One semi-truck was driveable, people familiar with the vehicle told Bloomberg they were "alarmed", stating that the vehicle was actually "inoperable and missing key components to power itself."

Milton himself also appeared to admit on Wednesday that key parts were taken out of the vehicle and that it never drove under its own power during the demonstration. He seemed to say the company did it as a precaution to prevent someone from stealing it: “I never deceived anyone. We’re going to try to keep people from driving off. This thing fully functions and works.”

Milton said that the truck was not an inoperable prototype, but the report said that "Gears and motors were missing" and even though the vehicle said “H2 Zero Emission Hydrogen Electric” on its side, there were no fuel cells on board.

Milton seemed to admit this: "There wasn’t a fuel cell in the truck. We never claimed there was."

Well, at least he didn't throw a steel ball through its front window. 

Milton's statements garnered tons of scrutiny on Wednesday, prompting him to eventually go off on Twitter in a late day tirade that lashed out at Bloomberg. First, he claimed his interview with Bloomberg was recorded, so it would be fun "suing the shit" out of the news organization…

That was followed by a somewhat apropos post for today's cancel culture, in calling for the journalist's job who wrote the piece:

And those were both followed by a copy of a legal letter, sent to Bloomberg, which Milton posted late Wednesday night. The letter requests that Bloomberg hold on to their documents relating to the Nikola article and calls the piece "dishonest" and a "blatant hit piece" that used "knowingly false information".

Regardless of whether or not Milton wins his war with the media, Nikola has its work cut out for it. 

Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport for researcher BloombergNEF said: “Manufacturing trucks is a highly competitive business, and all the established players — Daimler, Volvo, Scania and others -- all have low- and zero-emissions programs under development. This is going to be a crowded field.”

"Production plans for the One will be announced once Nikola has established a robust refueling infrastructure" according to company filings. Hydrogen stations are not supposed to be operational until 2022. 

Meanwhile, we can't help but wonder whether that infrastructure actually exists either. But I guess we can say Nikola is following in the footsteps of the EV "industry leader"…


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