The electric truck startup Nikola and General Motors (GM) announced on Tuesday a strategic partnership to produce an electric pickup truck dubbed the ‘Badger’. It will use GM’s widely acclaimed Ultium battery technology.
Under the deal, GM will get 11 percent ownership in Nikola, which will produce the electric pickup truck by the end of 2022. GM also gets the right to nominate one board member in exchange for in-kind services. The automaker will supply Nikola’s fuel cells globally, except Europe, for its class 7/8 truck.
“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.
Imagine getting 100 years of supplier relationships, validated part access and engineering support. That’s exactly what Nikola’s strategic partnership with @gm looks like. You couldn’t dream of a better partnership to fulfilling our vision of a zero-emission future! #NikolaBadgerpic.twitter.com/DuR2D4yPuO
— Nikola Motor Company (@nikolamotor) September 8, 2020
“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,” he added.
According to GM’s Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, the strategic partnership with Nikola 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,” she said.
Shares of both companies surged after the announcement, with Nikola soaring 53 percent and GM rising more than nine percent.
Phoenix-based Nikola specializes in building zero-emission semi-trucks using battery or hydrogen fuel cell technology. Its recently introduced Badger pickup truck is expected to be unveiled in early December. Production has been set for 2022. The company started taking pre-orders for “the most bad ass zero emission truck” in late June.
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The Badger is expected to become the competitor of Tesla’s Cybertruck. It will have an estimated range of up to 600 miles (965 kilometers), which is 100 miles more than the estimated maximum range of Tesla’s Cybertruck.
Nikola says pricing will start at $60,000 for the electric vehicle version and $90,000 for the one that also includes the hydrogen cell.
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