Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) shares jumped 23% today, as of 11:25 a.m. EDT. Shares are still down 33% since short-seller Hindenburg Research released a report on Sept. 10 that triggered a chain of events that included the resignation of founder and executive chairman Trevor Milton.
Yesterday, the hydrogen and electric vehicle start-up reiterated its strategy with an update on the key elements it sees to becoming a leader in zero-emissions transportation.
Shares have also been hindered recently as investors questioned whether its deal with General Motors (NYSE:GM), in which the automaker would help build the Badger electric pickup truck and supply Nikola with batteries and fuel cells, might be in danger of falling apart.
Renewed hope for the GM deal to close, and the company's business update, have reinvigorated investor interest, driving the stock up more than 40% in the last two trading sessions. The business update reinforced its model of operating in three business units: semi trucks, energy, and powersports.
With Trevor Milton out of the operation, management wants to reassure investors that current management is not deviating from its previously announced plans. It still plans to develop and build a network of hydrogen fueling stations to support its fuel-cell powered trucks.
The truck business, which includes battery-electric trucks as well, aims to supply short-haul to long-haul needs, in what Nikola estimates is a $600 billion addressable market.
The company said its first fleet of five Nikola Tre battery-electric truck prototypes will be completed, and begin testing, in the "next few weeks" at its German manufacturing facility. It said it remains on schedule to begin customer sales in late 2021. Investors are currently feeling reassured by this and the continued hope of a GM partnership.