Nikola Corporation (NKLA.Q), the infamous zero-emission transportation and infrastructure solutions provider, announced today that it is investing $50 million in Wabash Valley Resources for a 20% stake in the clean hydrogen project under development in West Terre Haute.
“The Wabash solution can generate electricity as well as hydrogen transportation fuel, which should provide the flexibility to support future truck sales and hydrogen station rollout in the region,” said Pablo Koziner, President, Energy, and Commercial at Nikola.
Nikola Corporation, also known as Nikola Motor Company, had a pretty rough 2020 like most of us. After going public on June 4, 2020, the Company achieved a valuation of approximately $13 billion, however, with zero revenues or vehicles to its name Nikola was a bit of an oddball company. Let’s not forget about Nikola’s totally reliable founder, Trevor Milton, who tried to step in the same ring as Elon Musk, emphasis on tried. Boisterously claiming to able to out-Elon Elon Musk, Mr. Milton set the bar high for the Company without having the cars or trucks to show for it.
Mr. Milton’s luck ran out on September 10, 2020, when Hindenburg Research accused Nikola of making a series of deceptive public statement and representations about its technology and business. In particular, Hindenburg Research accused the Company of staging a 2018 video of its “signature” hydrogen fuel-cell truck driving. Ultimately, amid these allegations of fraud, the legendary Mr. Milton resigned from Nikola on September 21, 2020. If you ask me, this is some first-class poetic justice. An investigative research firm called Hindenburg Research, causes a Company boasting its hydrogen fuel-cell technology, to crash and burn. Truly ironic.
Whether you believe a tiger can change its stripes or not, Nikola’s latest news could be pretty big for the Company. According to Nikola’s latest press release, the Company will be investing $50 million in Wabash Valley Resources for a 20% stake in the clean hydrogen project currently under development. This project will produce clean and sustainable hydrogen for transport fuel and baseload electricity generation. Upon completion in 2024, the project is expected to be the biggest carbon capture and clean hydrogen projects in the US, producing 336 tons per day of hydrogen, which can generate 285 megawatts of electricity.
This move is expected to help the Midwest transition to clear fuels for trucks and will give Nikola a hydrogen hub that can cater to future supply station in a 300-mile radius. With this in mind, the Company plans to establish hydrogen fuel supply stations across Indiana and the broader Midwest. Although this news looks good for headlines, many investors are still keeping a discerning eye on Nikola, and rightfully so. Until the Company shows investors a roadmap to commercial success or a promising product, Nikola will remain a stock that is watched from a distance.
Nikola’s share price opened at $17.75, up from a previous close of $17.32. The Company’s shares are up 4.27% and are currently trading at $18.06 as of 11:57AM ET. This indicates that there has been some change following the news.