Nikola, an electric and hydrogen truck manufacturer, has agreed to a $125 million fine imposed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for exaggerated advertising and providing false information.
In November, the SEC announced an all-round investigation into Nikola and a claim for compensation by former CEO Trevor Milton.
Founded in 2014, Nicola is a company that has drawn attention as it is called “Second Tesla” and “Post Tesla” with eco-friendly commercial vehicles based on hydrogen fuel cell technology. The acquisition of $2 billion worth of shares with GM, the largest U.S. manufacturer, and news of Hanwha Group’s investment also sparked a “nikola craze” in Korea.
However, Nikola’s fraud began to be revealed when a report by Hindenberg Research, a short-selling investment company, was released in September last year.
In a report, Hindenberg Research pointed out Nicola’s only hydrogen fuel electric vehicle production technology and facilities, and revealed that the driving video of the hydrogen truck was also filmed by rolling a car on a hill road.
Nikola, who finally admitted to her charges and agreed to a fine of 149 billion won, plans to pay the fine five times over two years.
However, Nikola says that apart from the fine agreement, the development of electric and hydrogen cars will continue to develop.
Following the completion of the German plant in September, the construction of a hydrogen charging station will continue through a partnership with Travel Centers of America until early 2023.