Producer Nikola has admitted a promotional video on YouTube exhibits its hydrogen-powered lorry rolling downhill moderately than shifting beneath its personal energy.
The video, posted by founder Trevor Milton in January 2018 and considered greater than 260,000 occasions, seems to indicate the lorry driving alongside a desert freeway.
Nikola denied deceptive traders and false promoting, including a working lorry had been filmed in 2019.
The US Securities and Change Fee is investigating.
Nikola mentioned it had “contacted and briefed” the SEC and meant to completely co-operate with its inquiry.
The 2018 video was accompanied by the textual content: “Behold the 1,000 HP zero-emission Nikola One semi-truck in movement.”
However the firm has now admitted though the lorry’s gearbox, batteries and different parts have been useful, it didn’t have a working hydrogen gas cell.
“As Nikola pivoted to the subsequent era of vans, it in the end determined to not make investments further sources into finishing the method to make the Nikola One drive by itself propulsion,” it mentioned in a 2,700-word response to a report from Hindenburg Analysis it mentioned was “false and defamatory” and designed to profit so-called brief sellers – traders who guess a inventory will drop in worth – together with Hindenburg itself.
Nikola additionally admitted it had used a third-party inverter, a key electrical element, and hid it with a sticker in a video.
Nevertheless it mentioned this was “widespread apply” amongst automobile producers, including it was designing, engineering and dealing by itself inverters.
The corporate is constructing a manufacturing unit in Arizona and plans to begin manufacturing of a battery-operated electrical lorry by the tip of 2021.
And in 2022, it can start manufacturing of its Badger pickup van, which can use hydrogen gas cells equipped by Normal Motors, as will its deliberate articulated lorries.
Shares in Nikola and GM have dropped in worth for the reason that Hindenburg report’s publication.
And Nikola is now threatening authorized motion in opposition to the analysis firm.