Nikola Corporation has announced the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with General Motors for a global supply agreement related to the integration of GM’s Hydrotec fuel-cell system into Nikola’s commercial semi-trucks. This replaces the transaction announced on September 8, 2020.
GM will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola or help with the development of the Nikola Badger. As previously announced, the Nikola Badger program was dependent on an OEM partnership. Nikola will refund all previously submitted order deposits for the Nikola Badger.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Nikola and GM will work together to integrate GM’s Hydrotec fuel-cell technology into Nikola’s Class 7 and Class 8 zero-emission semi-trucks for the medium- and long-haul trucking sectors.
Mark Russell, Chief Executive Officer of Nikola, says: “We are excited to take this important step with GM, which provides an opportunity to leverage the resources, strengths and talent of both companies.”
He adds: “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. 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. By working with GM, we are reinforcing our companies’ shared commitment to a zero-emission future.”
“This supply agreement recognizes our leading fuel cell technology expertise and development,” states Doug Parks, GM executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Providing our Hydrotec fuel cell systems to the heavy-duty class of commercial vehicles is an important part of our growth strategy and reinforces our commitment toward an all-electric, zero-emissions future.”
Nikola 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. In addition, Nikola and GM will discuss the potential for the utilization of GM’s versatile Ultium battery system in Nikola’s Class 7 and Class 8 vehicles.
GM’s Hydrotec fuel cell system will be engineered at its Michigan technical facilities in Pontiac and Warren and manufactured at its Brownstown Charter Township battery assembly plant.