Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The electric and fuel cell truck startup Nikola is increasingly under the microscope following a short-seller's allegations that it made false statements about its tech and planned products.

Driving the news: The Financial Times reported Tuesday that the Justice Department is "making inquiries" following last week's claims by Hindenburg Research.

  • The Wall Street Journal confirmed the report about inquiries from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
  • The news follows revelations of a SEC inquiry into the Hindenburg report that called Nikola an "intricate fraud." Nikola disputes the findings.

Catch up quick: The turmoil comes on the heels of the Sept. 8 announcement that GM is taking an 11% stake in Nikola, will engineer and manufacture its Badger pickup, and supply tech for that product and its planned semitrucks.

Why it matters: The controversy comes at a time of growing investor interest in EV startups and corporate partnerships with legacy automakers.

Go deeper: Hear what Nikola's troubles mean for GM on the latest "Axios Re:Cap" podcast.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

GM dives full-throttle into electric

GMC Hummer EV. Photo courtesy of General Motors

What has LeBron James as a pitchman, some slightly awkward promotional phrasing ("watts to freedom"), and a six-figure starting price? The electric GMC Hummer.

Driving the news: General Motors unveiled the vehicle — a reborn version of the deceased mega-guzzler — with a highly produced rollout Tuesday night that included a World Series spot. The company also began taking reservations.

Updated 16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Australian city Melbourne to exit one of world's longest lockdowns — In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe
  4. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure
  5. Nonprofit: Rockefeller Foundation commits $1 billion for COVID-19 recovery
Updated 20 mins ago - World

In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe

A skeleton is placed at a restaurant table in Rome to protest Italy's restrictions that'll see gyms, movie theaters and pools close and bars and restaurants required to shut by 6 p.m. until at least Nov. 24. Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Restrictions are returning across much of Europe as the continent faces a second coronavirus wave.

The big picture: Spain and France each surpassed 1 million cases last week, and both countries have implemented further restrictions on citizens. Italian officials announced strict new measures, effective Monday, to combat another cases spike. From Denmark to Romania, take a look at what steps countries have been taking, in photos.