Electric Truck Company Founder Worth $9 Billion After 104% Surge

(Bloomberg) -- Move over, Tesla Inc., another environmentally friendly vehicle maker is stealing your sunshine.

Nikola Corp. surged 104% in its third day of trading on the Nasdaq after a reverse merger with VectoIQ Acquisition Corp.

Trevor Milton, the chairman and founder of the hydrogen truck maker, has already set lofty goals. The company said last week that preorders for its vehicles topped $10 billion and it expects to start generating revenue in 2021.

The stock spiked higher on Monday after Milton tweeted that the company would begin taking reservations for its zero-emission truck, dubbed the Badger, later this month.

Milton’s fortune now stands at $9 billion, making him the world’s 188th richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the richest 500 people.

Investor interest in Nikola is growing. The Phoenix-based company has a $26.3 billion market valuation and the shares kept climbing in extended trading. Nikola was valued at around $3 billion in a 2019 fundraising.

Nikola may struggle to create infrastructure, such as hydrogen-refueling stations, for its fuel-cell vehicles.

Electric Truck Company Founder Worth $9 Billion After 104% Surge

And like its other alternative-fuel peer named after the same inventor, another unwanted similarity comes from an abundance of short sellers. Bearish bets against Nikola reached a new peak of more than 20% of the public float this month, according to data from financial analytics firm S3 Partners.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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