Nikola is dependent on the California manufacturer Romeo Power Technology for batteries for one of the prototype's electric trucks, according to documents seen by the Financial Times and a person familiar with the work.
The use of an established industry supplier is the second example of the start-up of outsourcing a key technology, months after it spied on its own "changing" battery, which they said would demonstrate this year.
Earlier this month, Nikola agreed to buy General Motors & # 39; Ultium battery. for its Badger pick-up truck, as part of a $ 2 billion deal in which GM takes an 1
Tension for Nikola's technology has contributed to driving the shares this year, to the point that it was briefly more valuable than Ford, but it now fights claims that it repeatedly makes wrong progress and does not have the proprietary technology it claimed.  Romeo Power, a manufacturer of battery packs located in an industrial area just outside Los Angeles, supplies battery packs to Nikola for use in prototype commercial trucks, the documents show. The technical documents include diagrams, product specifications and a battery pack testing plan.
A person familiar with the matter said that Romeo Power supplies the battery for the prototype Nikola Tre, which is being built at CNH Industrial & # 39 ;s Iveco plant in Ulm, Germany.
Nikola declined to comment. Romeo Power did not return messages that requested comment.
Romeo Power was founded in 2015, and its employees include employees from SpaceX, Tesla, Samsung and Amazon. The company supplies battery packs for trucks and buses, and the largest manufacturer of auto parts BorgWarner in Michigan owns 20 percent of the company's mother.
Nikola's business relationship with the Los Angeles company had started at least by January 2020, according to the dates on the documents.
In November 2019, Nikola said it had technology that would double the range of current electric cars to 600 miles without increasing the size or weight of the battery. Trevor Milton, the company's founder, called it at the time "the biggest advancement we have seen in the battery world".
Last week, shorts seller Hindenburg Research published a report calling Nikola an "intricate scam" and disputing his claims of having developed cutting-edge technology. The US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice are making inquiries about the company.
In a return statement on Monday, Nikola said Hindenburg's report contained false and misleading allegations, but added that the company “uses third party parts in prototype cars. ”. It is noted that this is common practice among car manufacturers and said that Nikola can change in its own parts during production.
Nikola also said that they are working with an academic institution to promote battery technology and are happy for "potential breakthroughs". Nikola board member Steve Girsky said at an FT Due Diligence event on Thursday that the company sometimes relied on suppliers. Other supporters have described the company as a "system integrator" that orchestrates how other companies' technology is used in a vehicle.
11. September, the day after the Hindenburg report was published, Mr Milton tweeted photographs showing a wooden prototype mounted in Ulm. "F @ & k haters," he wrote in the tweet. "Well, come back stronger from the lies being spread about us."
A person familiar with the technology said that the images included battery packs from Romeo Power.