- Nikola was in talks with several high-profile energy companies for possible partnerships on hydrogen-fuelling stations,The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
- However, allegations made by a short-seller earlier in September caused those talks to fizzle, including those with BP, the paper reported.
- A Nikola spokesperson said the company does not comment on “rumour or speculation.”
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Talks between Nikola and the oil giant BP fizzled as the electric-truck startup grapples with accusations of fraud that led to the departure of its founder and chairman, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
According to the paper, BP was one of several possible partners for Nikola’s planned network of hydrogen-fuelling stations, a key part of its pitch to investors. It’s the first instance of allegations by the short-seller Hindenburg Research affecting the company’s execution, even as partners like General Motors and Bosch remain on board.
A spokesperson for Nikola declined to comment on what they called “rumour and speculation.” BP also declined to comment.
Shares of Nikola have this week continued their rout following Hindenburg’s September 10 allegations, all of which were disputed by Nikola despite admissions that some of the firm’s points were true. The stock has now erased all of its gains since the company went public via a reverse merger in June.
The slump and resulting scepticism following founder and former chairman Trevor Milton’s resignation this week has also led to Wall Street analysts turning sour on the company.
“The recent questions surrounding the Nikola story raised by the bears will be a dark cloud over the stock until answered, especially with no fundamental or delivery catalysts in the nearterm,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, said in assigning the Street’s first sell rating to the stock on Thursday.
“To be clear, we still believe the GM partnership stays intact and Nikola has a strong playbook and partner network to get deliveries and production of its flagship BEV and FCEV semi-truck models heading into 2023, although we have clear doubts the company can get there without more speed bumps ahead,” he continued.