Sources close to the fuel cell truck manufacturer say founder Trevor Milton has resigned as CEO of Nikola Motors (NASDAQ: NKLA) and left the company immediately.
He will remain one of the company’s largest shareholders, but will have no say in how the company is run in the future. Sources told FreightWaves that the decision was Milton’s in an attempt to protect the company and its investments. Milton owns approximately 82 million shares, or 20% of the company, worth about $ 2.8 billion.
Milton is the founder of Nikola Motors, creating a vision for the hydrogen transportation industry. His comments about Nicola’s capabilities and the hydrogen truck network he planned to build sometimes went beyond what was physically possible, leaving many detractors to emphasize these allegations as evidence that the company was a fraud.
Others, including many in the industry and suppliers who have partnered with the company, saw the company with a great vision and opportunity to have a big impact on the future of transport. If successful, Nicholas could significantly reduce its carbon footprint from one of its largest emission sources. The EPA estimates that 6.4% of all greenhouse gas emissions emitted in the United States come from medium and heavy trucks.
Before the company went public, few had heard of Nicholas outside the heavy-duty car industry. In June, the company completed an IPO or SPAC merger, which gave the company a higher rating than Ford. The company has not yet mass-produced the product and all revenue so far comes from the sale of Milton solar panel installation services.
This is an evolving story. Stay tuned for FreightWaves for more updates.