General Motors has purchased a $2 billion equity stake in Nikola, that could result in benefits worth in excess of $4 billion down the road. GM now owns 11% of the EV truck startup and will take over manufacturing duties for the Badger truck.
Nikola meanwhile anticipates that it will save more than $4 billion in battery and powertrain costs over a 10 year period and over $1 billion in engineering and validation costs.
Nikola will also utilize GM’s Ultium batteries and Hydrotec fuel cell technology but it will remain responsible for selling and marketing the Badger (retaining the brand) once the truck enters production by the end of 2022.
This agreement also serves to extend GM’s utilization of its fuel cell technology to the Class 7/8 semi-truck market, while also representing a high-volume commercialization of its leading Hydrotec fuel cell system – as fuel cells are said to become increasingly important to the semi-truck market since they provide a more efficient alternative to gasoline or diesel.
“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,” said GM CEO Mary Barra. “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 Nikola Badger will make its public debut in December at Nikola World 2020 in Arizona, with $100 pre-order reservations now available. GM will engineer, homologate, validate and manufacture both the EV variant and the fuel cell versions of the truck.