GM to supply Nikola with fuel cells, takes 11% ownership stake

by Today's Trucking

DETROIT, Mich. – General Motors has taken an 11% ownership stake in Nikola, after inking a strategic partnership to engineer and manufacture the Nikola Badger pickup truck.

Nikola says the deal will save it more than US$4 billion in battery and powertrain costs over 10 years, and another $1 billion in engineering and validation costs.

For its part, GM says it will receive in excess of $4 billion in benefits, including its equity stake.

GM will also be the exclusive provider of fuel cells globally (outside of Europe) for Nikola’s Classes 7 and 8 trucks.

“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. You couldn’t dream of a better partnership than this,” said Nikola founder and executive chairman Trevor Milton.

“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. What an exciting announcement.”

Nikola Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton
Nikola founder and executive chairman Trevor Milton. (Photo: Nikola)

“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,” added General Motors chairman and 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.”

GM claims the deal will extend its utilization of fuel cell technologies to the Classes 7/8 semi-truck market, representing high-volume commercialization of its Hydrotec fuel cell system.

The Badger will continue to carry the Nikola brand name and will enter production in late 2022. Nikola and GM anticipate their partnership to close prior to Sept. 30.

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