Nikola Corp. and General Motors have formed a strategic partnership that will culminate in GM manufacturing Nikola trucks, beginning with the Nikola Badger. Nikola will market and sell the truck, and retain the Badger brand name. Production is set to begin in late 2022 at a location to be announced.
Nikola will use GM Ultium battery system and Hydrotec fuel cell technology, and have access to its global parts and components. GM receives $2 billion in newly issued common stock.
“Nikola is one of the most innovative companies in the world. General Motors is one of the top engineering and manufacturing companies in the world,” said Trevor Milton, Nikola founder and executive chairman, in a prepared statement. “You couldn’t dream of a better partnership than this. By joining together, we get access to their validated parts for all of our programs, General Motors’ Ultium battery technology and a multi-billion dollar fuel cell program ready for production. Nikola immediately gets decades of supplier and manufacturing knowledge, validated and tested production-ready EV propulsion, world-class engineering and investor confidence. Most importantly, General Motors has a vested interest to see Nikola succeed. We made three promises to our stakeholders and have now fulfilled two out of three promises ahead of schedule.”
Said GM chairman/CEO Mary Barra in a statement:
“This strategic partnership with Nikola, an industry leading disrupter, continues the broader deployment of General Motors’ all-new Ultium battery and Hydrotec fuel cell systems. We are growing our presence in multiple high-volume EV segments while building scale to lower battery and fuel cell costs and increase profitability. In addition, applying General Motors’ electrified technology solutions to the heavy-duty class of commercial vehicles is another important step in fulfilling our vision of a zero-emissions future.”
The agreement with Nikola extends General Motors’ utilization of its fuel cell technology to the Class 7/8 semi-truck market and represents a high-volume commercialization of its leading Hydrotec fuel cell system and complements the company’s battery-electric propulsion. Fuel cells will become increasingly important to the semi-truck market because they are more efficient than gas or diesel. General Motors sees additional growth opportunities in multiple transportation, stationary and mobile-power end markets.
General Motors’ battery development work is ongoing. Its Ultium battery technology roadmap includes silicon anodes and lithium metal anodes, which will improve vehicle range, affordability, and reduced dependence on rare and costly metals. It is already demonstrating automotive-grade durability and significantly higher energy density.
Nikola will launch a heavy truck through its joint venture with CNH Industrial, announced last year.
Source: GM and Nikola Corp.