Trevor Milton of Nikola Resigns Amid Fraud Claims

Trevor Milton of Nikola Resigns Amid Fraud Claims

Trevor Milton of Nikola Resigns Amid Fraud Claims

Trevor Milton of Nikola Resigns Amid Fraud Claims

Mr. Milton also posted pictures of what he said are five trucks being assembled in Ulm, Germany. “Do these look fake?” he wrote.

The new chairman, Mr. Girsky, is a former G.M., has played a critical role in Nikola’s rise to prominence. After leaving the G.M. board in 2016, he started an investment company, VectoIQ, to provide strategic and financial help to automotive technology start-ups. He also created a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, that owned nothing but cash and a stock listing. When VectoIQ’s SPAC merged with Nikola in June, Nikola became a publicly traded company and Mr. Girsky joined its board.

Mr. Girsky was also a catalyst for G.M.’s partnership with Nikola. In the past he has said he called on former G.M. engineers to evaluate Nikola’s technology and its business prospects while considering the SPAC merger. When he realized G.M. had developed fuel-cell and battery technology Nikola might be able to use, he put Mr. Milton and G.M.’s chief executive, Mary T. Barra, on contact with each other.

“The initial introductions were made by Steve Girsky,” Ms. Barra said in a conference call to announce the partnership.

The day-to-day running of Nikola is in the hands of Mark Russell, the chief executive, whose ties to Mr. Milton go back several years. Before joining Nikola as president last year, he was chief executive of Worthington Industries, a diverse maker of steel products like tanks for propane, hydrogen, helium and natural gas. Worthington acquired Mr. Milton’s diesel conversion company, dHybrid Systems, in 2014 and also invested in Nikola.

Before Mr. Milton’s resignation, Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Navigant Research who follows developments in electric vehicles, said Nikola’s idea of powering and building a network of hydrogen fueling stations had merit.

A purely battery-powered semi, something Tesla is betting on, would likely have a shorter range than trucks with hydrogen fuel-cells, and a massive battery that could take hours to recharge — down time that could prove too costly to trucking companies.


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