A large pickup truck gradually vanishes.
Enlarge / The entrance half of the Nikola Badger.

Nikola CEO Mark Russell downplayed the corporate’s Badger pickup truck in comments to the Financial Times on Thursday.

“The Badger was an attention-grabbing and thrilling venture to some shareholders, however our institutional shareholders are principally targeted on the marketing strategy,” Russell mentioned. “Our core marketing strategy since earlier than we grew to become publicly listed at all times targeted on heavy vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure.”

Russell’s feedback have been printed after markets closed on Thursday. Nikola’s inventory worth plunged on Friday morning and is at present down about 14 p.c for the day.

Negotiations with Basic Motors to design and construct the truck have dragged on weeks longer than anticipated. Nikola and GM announced a wide-ranging partnership on September 8. It envisioned GM not solely constructing the Badger but in addition supplying the batteries and gasoline cells that energy the vehicles. Beneath the deal, GM would additionally provide hydrogen fuel-cell know-how for Nikola’s semi vehicles outdoors the European market.

Nikola was supposed to provide GM $2 billion value of inventory to license GM’s know-how, reimburse GM to construct out a Badger manufacturing unit, after which pay GM on a cost-plus foundation to assemble the Badger.

The worth of Nikola’s inventory soared instantly after the September 8 announcement, nevertheless it then tanked after a short-selling firm revealed that Nikola CEO Trevor Milton had lied when he mentioned Nikola’s first truck, the Nikola One, was absolutely useful. Nikola has admitted {that a} promotional video confirmed the truck rolling down a hill, not touring below its personal energy. The worth decline has made GM’s anticipated $2 billion stake in Nikola value a lot much less.

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