Jeff ubben, the president of activist hedge investment valueact and an early on investor in nikola, has actually strenuously defended the electric vehicle start-up and its own management against fraud allegations from a short-seller.

In a job interview aided by the financial times, mr ubben, just who sits on nikolas board of directors, said the company and its own president trevor milton were misunderstood. he said nikola could revolutionise transport and compared it to apple.

Nikola, which moved community in america early in the day this current year, says it designs and manufactures trucks that operate on hydrogen gasoline cells or battery packs, and hydrogen fuelling channels. the organization aims to generate income next year.

In a scathing report introduced a week ago, short-seller hindenburg analysis called nikola a complex fraudulence and advertised the business was exaggerating progress on its potentially innovative technology.

Nikola is a prototype shop, mr ubben stated. you've got the biggest company on earth which can be a prototype shop and its own called apple. this is certainly what we do. we are perhaps not selling trucks, we're selling hydrogen.

Mr ubben recently left valueact, taking with him an environment-focused financial investment fund that he now operates at a new company called inclusive capital partners. that fund has actually a good investment in nikola.

Mr ubben sold more than half the nikola risk in late august and then he now has 5 per cent for the business, versus 12 % before. the sale had been forced on him by buyer redemptions during the transition from valueact, he said.

Nikola shares have dropped 40 per cent because the publication of the report by hindenburg, which as a short-seller profits if nikolas stock cost decreases. the usa securities and exchange commission is wanting into nikola to examine hindenburgs claims as well as the department of justice has contacted men and women familiar with the business, the financial occasions disclosed on tuesday.

Hindenburg alleged nikola faked a video clip and passed off technology it had purchased as the very own. in an in depth rebuttal published on monday, nikola and mr milton countered whatever they called false and misleading statements by hindenburg.

Mr ubben stated he took umbrage within renewed concentrate on the advertising and marketing video posted in 2018, that hindenburg stated had been made to appear to be the truck was being driven. nikola admitted the vehicle into the movie, which was driving, was rolled down a hill but stated it had never advertised the vehicle had been going under its very own propulsion.

Mr ubben also bristled at hindenburgs contrast of nikola to theranos, the failed blood-testing start-up whose president elizabeth holmes is faced with perpetuating a multibillion-dollar fraud by pretending to own developed an innovative technology.mr ubben called the contrast positively outrageous since nikola today features a working vehicle.

Nikola is establishing a hydrogen cell battery pack, he stated, nevertheless the genuine profit should come from hydrogen channels, that he said had been about seven or eight years away.

The bulk of nikolas worth is based on that hydrogen community, he said, not the vehicles it self.

We are unlike tesla. they will make their funds on vehicles. thats a hardcore design. we are offering gas to any or all another hydrogen vehicles. this is the end game answer, mr ubben stated.

It ends up our enterprize model, becoming something integrator, isn't well-understood. and that is an issue.

Additional reporting by claire bushey and billy nauman