The Ford F-150 EV appears to be coming along quite nicely as it gets ever-closer to its mid-2022 launch. Ford recently showed off a teaser of the electric pickup’s front end, as well as a video of a prototype driving up steep grades, towing, and tackling tough off-road conditions. The automaker has also broken ground on the new Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, where the F-150 EV will be built. But things haven’t been going quite as swimmingly for one of the F-150 EV’s perceived competitors, Nikola Badger.
The rise and fall of Nikola has proven quite swift. The upstart company just went public back on July 4th, and its founder, Trevor Milton, subsequently became one of the world’s youngest billionaires at the age of 38. Even though Nikola has yet to produce a single vehicle, its $28.8 billion dollar market cap at the time was higher than even Ford’s. Just a few weeks ago, General Motors signed a deal with the company to provide tech and build its electric pickups.
Shortly thereafter, everything came crashing down. Short-selling firm Hindenburg Research released a report accusing Milton of making false statements about Nikola’s technology, presenting a mountain of evidence to back up its stunning claims of fraudulent activity. Nikola’s stock subsequently plunged, and just 10 days after the report was released, Milton announced that he was voluntarily stepping down from his role as executive chairman and as a board member.
Making matters worse, two women have since filed sexual assault complaints against Milton as well. The accusations go back 15 years, and include Milton’s cousin Aubrey Ferrin Smith, who claims that Milton touched her inappropriately when she was 15. The second alleged assault occurred back in 2004, with another victim who was also 15 at the time.
Milton has denied the allegations, but it appears that the damage has already been done. At this point, it would be an upset if the all-electric Nikola Badger ever makes it to market, and Nikola might not even manage to survive much longer as a company.