General Motors takes $2 billion stake in electric truck startup Nikola

Japan Financial Markets

Japan Financial Markets

General Motors and Nikola announced a $2-billion deal to produce vehicles using GM's Ultium battery technology, fuel-cell systems, and manufacturing expertise. Most importantly, General Motors has a vested interest to see Nikola succeed.

The Badger is expected to hit the market by the end of 2022. Nikola immediately gets decades of supplier and manufacturing knowledge, validated and tested production-ready EV propulsion, world-class engineering, and investor confidence.

More precisely, GM's expected-to-be-revolutionary Ultium battery system will make its way into the electric variant of the Badger. Advertisement The partnership would also provide access to GM's fuel-cell technology, to be used for heavy trucks. "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", she said.

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In that same year, GM announced plans to launch at least 20 electric models by 2023. Nikola shares, which were listed earlier this year through a special-acquisition merger, shot up nearly 39% on the news, in pre-market trading after the holiday weekend.

GM expects to get more than $4 billion in benefits from the deal with the stock as well as from contracting to manufacture the Badger.

The truck will compete with Tesla's Cybertruck, as well as electric pickups planned by startup Rivian, Ford Motor and GM itself.

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"We are growing our presence in multiple high-volume EV segments while building scale to lower battery and fuel cell costs and increase profitability", Barra said.

Although GM is now heavily involved in production of the Badger, Nikola will retain the brand and be responsible for all sales and marketing. Nikola, however, will keep building a US factory in Coolidge, Arizona, to make heavy trucks.

GM and Nikola unveiled the deal just a week after GM and Honda said they have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue a strategic partnership in North America.

Nikola Corp., founded in 2015, became a public company in June after a merger with VectorIQ Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special-purpose acquisition company.

Nikola Corp., which hasn't made a profit yet and lost $86.6 million in the second quarter, expects to save over $4 billion in battery and powertrain costs over 10 years.

When it went public, it added former GM Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky, CEO of VectoIQ, to its board of directors.

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