Nikola founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton discusses working with General Motors on a new electric truck, called The Badger.
"Nikola is truly in my blood and always will be, and the focus should be on the Company and its world-changing mission, not me", Trevor Milton said. "So I made the hard decision to approach the board and step aside". Milton is succeeded by Stephen Girsky, a former General Motors executive who was already on the company's board.
This month, Hindenburg Research, a short seller, published a report alleging Nikola is misleading investors.
Hindenburg had said it had gathered enough evidence to show that Milton made false statements about possessing proprietary technology to form partnerships with large automakers.
Nikola rejected the accusations and threatened to take legal action against the short-seller.
Hindenberg's report was released on September 10, two days after Nikola and General Motors announced a partnership that gave GM a $2 billion stake, or 11% of Nikola, in exchange for its help building the Badger electric-pickup truck.
Nikola is relying on California-based manufacturer Romeo Power Technology to make batteries for one of its prototype electric trucks, months after touting its own "game-changing" battery, the Financial Times reported last week.
News reports have said that the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. stock market regulator, and the U.S. Justice Department are looking into the allegations against Nikola.
In exchange for the 10-year deal, GM was to get $2 billion worth of Nikola's newly issued common stock that will come in three increments through 2025.
Electric trucks, both consumer and commercial versions, are quickly becoming a battleground for automakers. Still, now, after the Hindenburg Report, the viability of the deal is in question, and with that, the future of GM's electric pickup.