The mania in electric vehicle stocks has been nothing short of spectacular in 2020.
Tesla has become the 7th largest company in the United States based on the anticipation of what might be many years in the future.
Nikola, an electric-truck startup that doesn’t yet produce anything, was larger than Ford Motor Company for a few weeks over the summer.
Manias are like wild parties. Both are a blast while they last, but the hangover you wake up to makes you swear you’ll never do that again.
William Boston and Ben Foldy report in The Wall Street Journal:
Nikola Corp. NKLA -15.38% founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton is stepping down from the electric-truck startup with immediate effect in the wake of allegations from a short seller that he and the company had made false statements to investors.
The company said Mr. Milton would be succeeded by Stephen Girsky, a former General Motors Co. executive who already sits on the truck company’s board.
Nikola, which went public in June through a reverse merger, has come under scrutiny since short seller Hindenburg Research released a report earlier this month accusing the company and Mr. Milton of making exaggerated claims about the readiness of Nikola’s technology and how much of it is proprietary.
Doubts about the company’s readiness to produce vehicles and questions about its claim to own proprietary technology have prompted U.S. securities regulators and the Justice Department to investigate whether Nikola misled investors, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month, citing people familiar with the matter.
Nikola has called the Hindenburg report false.
Mr. Milton said in a company statement that he had asked the board to step down so the focus was on the business, not him. He added in a separate statement posted on his Twitter account early Monday that he intended to defend himself against “false allegations leveled against me by outside detractors.”
Read more here.