Dropping the car down the slope but told the prototype to operate itself, the automaker was ambitious to beat Tesla, exposing a deceitful trick

Tram Ho

In December 2016, when Nikola founder Trevor Milton stood on stage announcing a prototype of the Nikola One truck, he described it as fully functional.

“We’re going to have a chain on a chair to stop people, just for safety. I don’t want someone to do something and drive this truck off the stage,” Milton said. “This thing is fully functional and functional, this is really amazing.”

In January 2018, Nikola posted a video on YouTube and social media channels called “Nikola One Electric Semi Truck in Motion”. It shows a Nikola One truck moving rapidly along a two-lane highway in the desert.

It can be said that the impressive advertising information and product prototypes from the new energy car company Nikola have helped it attract a lot of investment capital, even issue shares to the public very successfully. Although no commercial products of the company are officially available on the market so far.

Promotional video Nikola One 2018.

But last week, the short-selling investment firm Hindenburg Research released a new report, claiming that Nikola lied when the Nikola One prototype was “almost inactive” in December 2016. In particular, Hindenburg publicized a 2017 text message exchange in which a Nikola employee said the company did not continue working on the truck model in the months following the show’s launch.

More surprisingly, Hindenburg reported that the truck in the “Nikola One in motion” video turned out not to be moving on its own engine. Rather, Nikola pulled the truck to the top of a shallow hill and let it roll on its own. The company allegedly tilted the camera to look like the truck was moving under engine power on a flat road.

Thả xe trôi dốc nhưng lại bảo nguyên mẫu tự vận hành, hãng xe tham vọng đánh bại Tesla lộ chiêu trò gian trá - Ảnh 2.

It turned out that the car was drifting off a slope, not being self-driving.

Yesterday, Nikola sent a press release reflecting some of the claims in Hindenburg’s report as misleading. But it also tacitly acknowledged Hindenburg’s main claim about the Nikola One was correct. Specifically, Nikola now admits that the Nikola One prototype didn’t work in December 2016 and also didn’t work when the company released a promotional video 13 months later.

“The gearbox, battery, frequency converter, power steering and some other components of the truck were still in operation at the December 2016 show,” Nikola said . But the company does not claim that the truck with a hydrogen fuel cell battery can work or the engine to drive the wheels – two key components that Hindenburg claims were missing from the truck in December. / 2016.

And Nikola also admits that the truck can never function properly because the company has … turned to research on the next vehicle, Nikola Two.

Thả xe trôi dốc nhưng lại bảo nguyên mẫu tự vận hành, hãng xe tham vọng đánh bại Tesla lộ chiêu trò gian trá - Ảnh 3.

Prototype Nikoka Two.

As for the promotional video, Nikola’s press release states: “Nikola never said that their truck was driving under its own thrust in the video”. And yet, the message “in motion” recorded on the video also has a description of the truck “in motion” rather than “moving under its own thrust” or “driven by a powertrain. “. In other words, only the viewer thinks that the car is going on its own, and that it is actually “moving somehow”.

Currently, the automaker that has revealed its ambition to beat Tesla – the world’s leading car company with countless products sold in reality – is continuing to campaign to call for investment. This calling strategy culminated with the announcement last week that GM will build Nikola’s Badger pickup truck.

If these products are successful, it probably shouldn’t be a problem that the Nikola One never drives. But the fact that CEO Milton lied at a product launch and its “unique” promotional video may leave investors and customers wondering if Nikola is overstating his current capabilities. .

Thả xe trôi dốc nhưng lại bảo nguyên mẫu tự vận hành, hãng xe tham vọng đánh bại Tesla lộ chiêu trò gian trá - Ảnh 4.

The Badger will be created but not based on Nikola’s “godly” battery technology.

In fact, Nikola’s deal with GM that GM will build a Badger truck for Nikola without using battery technology is supposed to be groundbreaking, which Nikola has repeatedly stated that it is developing. Instead, the battery-electric version of the Badger will be based on GM’s Ultium battery platform.

Nikola’s trucks, of course, will likely soon use hydrogen fuel cell technology developed on their own one day. One of Nikola’s most prominent and important attractions today is that the company “supposedly” has found a way to cut the cost of hydrogen fuel from a market price of around $ 16 / kg to under $ 4 / kg.

That would be a huge achievement if it were true, because it could allow the company to build a network of hydrogen charging stations similar to Tesla’s SuperCharger network. The company also provided “some details” about the breakthrough. But CEO Milton’s history of exaggerating Nikola’s abilities is one reason one might be skeptical.

See Arstechnica

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Source : Genk