Nikola, GM Sign New Scaled-Back MOU

Nikola Tre
Nikola Tre by Nikola Motor Co.

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Nikola Corp. and General Motors Co. announced a new nonbinding memorandum of understanding for a global supply agreement that would integrate GM’s Hydrotec fuel cell system for Nikola’s Classes 7-8 vehicles.

The companies noted the agreement announced Nov. 30 supersedes one from September and so does not include the previously contemplated GM equity stake in Nikola or development of the Nikola Badger, an electric pickup truck.

Customers who put a deposit down on the Badger will have it refunded, according to the Phoenix-based company.

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The Nikola Tre (Nikola Motor Co.)

“We are excited to take this important step with GM, which provides an opportunity to leverage the resources, strengths and talent of both companies,” Nikola CEO Mark Russell said in a release. “Heavy trucks remain our core business, and we are 100% focused on hitting our development milestones to bring clean hydrogen and battery-electric commercial trucks to market.”

Nikola is building a truck plant in Coolidge, Ariz. Since its founding in 2014, Nikola has used strategic supplier partnerships as a key means of advancing its trucks to market.

Nikola previously announced it expects to begin testing production-engineered prototypes of its hydrogen fuel-cell powered trucks by the end of 2021, with testing for the beta prototypes expected to begin in the first half of 2022.

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“We believe fuel cells will become increasingly important to the semi-truck market, as they are more efficient than gas or diesel and are lightweight compared to batteries for long hauls,” Russell said. “By working with GM, we are reinforcing our companies’ shared commitment to a zero-emission future.”

Nikola and GM reported they discussed the potential for using GM’s “versatile” Ultium battery system in Nikola’s Classes 7-8 vehicles.

The agreement is subject to negotiation and execution of definitive documentation acceptable to both parties, the companies noted.

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