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Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Nikola Corp., a high-flying electric truck startup until just days ago, has come back down to earth but somehow hasn't crashed — at least not yet.

Driving the news: Founder and executive chairman Trevor Milton quit Monday amid reported federal probes of allegations that he lied about Nikola's tech and progress.

Why it matters: The tumult sent the stock price tumbling, and revealed the jeopardy facing the startup with almost zero revenue or commercial production but a big dollar market value largely based on expectations.

The intrigue: So far, Nikola's big corporate partners are standing by them. GM said its deal with Nikola — which includes an 11% stake, building its Badger pickup and supplying tech for its semitrucks — is intact.

  • And remember GM has some connections to Nikola. Steve Girsky, a former GM exec who is on Nikola's board, has stepped into Milton's shoes in the top slot.

What they're saying: "We will work with Nikola to close the transaction we announced nearly two weeks ago to seize the growth opportunities in broader markets with our hydrotec fuel cell and ultium battery systems, and to engineer and build the Nikola Badger," GM said.

  • The waste company Republic Services, which has ordered 2,500 electric garbage trucks from Nikola, said it will "continue to work with Nikola and our other suppliers to develop electric recycling and waste collection vehicles."
  • Anheuser-Busch, which announced an order for hundreds of big trucks in 2018, has not publicly backed away. They did not respond to an inquiry Monday.

Go deeper: GM's eyes are wide open on Nikola partnership

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 22, 2019 - Technology

Tesla ushers in the electric pickup moment

Photo: Tesla

Tesla unveiled its futuristic "Cybertruck" at an L.A. event on Thursday that was heavy on light shows, yet analysts remain in the dark about the future of electric pickups — and Tesla's role in it.

Why it matters: The event was the splashiest sign yesterday that automakers are moving closer to bringing electric models to the huge pickup market.

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters gathered outside fortified statehouses across the U.S. over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.