In 2016, Nikola demonstrated a full-size electric truck flying along a desert highway. The company now admits the demo, embedded below, was faked. The truck was simply rolling downhill.
The trick ius not subtle: it appears they towed the vehicle to a subtle slope, hid the gradient with slightly curvilinear lenses and camera angles, and were careful to avoid making clear claims about power (the truck is "in motion") in their marketing copy. The company insists they did not lie about the truck, but no-one is fooled.
The video was clearly fake. They can use their "in-motion" loophole, but this was undeniably a deceptive tactic to make people think they had a working prototype in 2018 when in fact they didn't.
Furthermore, Nikola has the guts to claim that this video is now irrelevant because they now have a working prototype of their truck.
No. The fact that you were willing to deceive people about where you are in the development process of your truck is extremely relevant.
Nikola is now a publicly-traded stock with a $2bn deal with General Motors underway. A profound contemporary example of "fake it til you make it."