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Nikola Stock Leaps After Fuel-Cell Production Deal With Germany's Bosch

Nikola will build Bosch-designed fuel-cell power modules at its manufacturing facility in Coolidge, Arizona.

Nikola  (NKLA) - Get Nikola Corp. Report shares jumped higher Thursday after the troubled electric truckmaker said its reached a strategic fuel cell agreement with Germany's Bosch  (BSWQY) .

Nikola said the agreement will allow it to build Bosch-designed fuel-cell power modules at its facility in Coolidge, Arizona, that will be used in the truckmaker's Nikola Tre and US Nikola Two fuel-cell applications. The companies said the fuel cells are expected to launch in 2023 and could give the Class 8 regional-haul Nikola Tre FCEV a range of around 500 miles.

"This announcement is the result of a multi-year working relationship with Bosch," said CEO Mark Russell. "After extensive analysis of the best options out there, we are proud to enter into this strategic relationship with Bosch."

"The result is the best of both worlds in our 'make versus buy' analysis," he added. "We will be collaborating with Bosch to develop and assemble fuel-cell power modules specifically for our applications at the same Coolidge, Arizona facility where we manufacture our Nikola vehicles, utilizing major components from the Bosch global manufacturing network."  

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Nikola shares were marked 3.5% higher in early trading Thursday to change hands at $11.11 each. 

Late last month, the U.S. Justice Department said former Nikola CEO -- who founded the company in 2014 - will face securities fraud charges as a result of allegeations that he made fraudulent statements about the electric truckmaker's product and technology development between November 2019 and September 2020.

In September of that year, analysts at Hindenburg Research, a noted short-seller, published a note accusing the electric-truck startup of being "an intricate fraud built on dozens of lies."

Milton, who was replaced by former General Motors'  (GM) - Get General Motors Company (GM) Report vice chairman Stephen Girsky, was accused by Hindenburg of orchestrating an "intricate fraud built on dozens of lies", citing data from phone calls, text messages and emails that it says detail dozens of false statements.