A few months ago, Nikola Motor, on the wave of interest in the electric pickup format (of which Tesla, of course, was the culprit, having presented its Tesla Cybertruck) presented the concept of its Nikola Badger pickup. Even then, the information immediately went that the company was looking for a partner for its production, since by and large this machine is not a reflection of the strategic development vector of Trevor Milton’s company. As the months passed, tense negotiations with General Motors were hidden behind the external informational silence.
General Motors has been experimenting with electric cars for a long time, they successfully produce and sell a very good electric car, the Chevrolet Bolt, there are projects in the brands Buick, GMC (Hummer EV project) and Cadillac, their own electric platform Ultium was presented … But, to be honest, it seemed that GM was always missing something to move well forward. Apparently all the same conservatism, and decades of production of cars with internal combustion engines dominated the company. And after all, one cannot immediately «jump» into the future, bearing the burden of the obligations of the past. These are not Tesla and other EV startups that don’t have to painfully transform huge industries. So the Nikola Corporation alliance is probably exactly what GM needed.
Under the terms of the agreement between the companies, General Motors will receive an 11% stake (worth $ 2 billion) of Nikola Corporation and the right to appoint one director to the company’s Board of Directors. GM is also committed to homologation and production of the Nikola Badger pickup, both in the battery version and with the use of hydrogen fuel cells. This will be what is called «in kind» payment by Nikola Corporation.
This will save Nikola more than $ 4 billion in battery and transmission savings over 10 years and over $ 1 billion in design and test costs.
General Motors will also become the exclusive supplier to Nikola Corporation of fuel cells worldwide (outside of Europe) for 7/8 trucks.
Nikola will use General Motors’ Ultium battery system and Hydrotec fuel cell technology. This will significantly reduce the development costs for Nikola Badger, Nikola Tre, Nikola One, Nikola Two and NZT programs.
General Motors will be subject to a phased lockdown starting in one year and ending in June 2025. That is, in essence, the contract is designed for 4 years.
Says Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton, “
General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, «
Production of the Badger is expected to begin before the end of 2022. Nikola Corporation will be responsible for sales and marketing for Badger and will retain the Nikola Badger brand. The parties intend to close the deal by September 30, 2020.
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