GM will engineer as well as produce the Badger at an undisclosed factory, using its Ultium battery method as well as Hydrotec fuel cell technology.
General Motors has agreed to produce Nikola’s zero-emission pickup truck and supply batteries for electric and fuel cell powertrains, while at the same time picking up an 11 per cent stake in the start-up. The pickup truck which will be manufactured by GM will be the Badger.
Nikola is probably the most successful automobile business to have never truly produced or perhaps sold a car. It carried out a merger earlier this year and got itself listed on the stock market leading to its share price to shoot up. Since then, its valuation has even surpassed Ford.
“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 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. Also, 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 added.
The Nikola Badger has both battery-powered electric powertrain and hydrogen fuel cell options. Through the strategic partnership, GM will engineer as well as produce the Badger at an undisclosed factory, using its Ultium battery method as well as Hydrotec fuel cell technology.
Even though Nikola has designed its own powertrain, it is now going to use superior one from GM which includes elements like the e-axle, drive train, and inverters. The Badger is going to keep its current fit, form, interior, and finish, together with specific infotainment and security features.
GM will be the only supplier of hydrogen fuel cells for Nikola Class seven and eight trucks globally except for Europe. Nikola founder and chairman Trevor Milton said on a press call the deal is a “win-win” for both GM and his company.
“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,” he said.
He asserted neither company’s power platform will be in a position to reduce their component cost alone, making the team up the economically prudent call. “Utilizing the GM battery on this truck helps us reduce costs by over 30%,” he said.
This projects out to $4 billion in battery and powertrain cost savings over the next decade. Validating the chassis and powertrain alone may have cost Nikola $1 billion.