General Motors to take stake in Nikola electric truck company

Nikola Badger Electric Pickup to Be Made by GM, Ultium Batteries on Deck

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

"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 in a statement GM CEO Mary Barra.

The partnership names GM as the exclusive fuel cell supplier for Nikola's upcoming class 7/8 trucks.

Under the venture, GM's battery and fuel cell technology will be employed in the Badger and subsequently in other Nikola vehicles.

GM also gets the right to nominate one board member in exchange for in-kind services. It will use GM's widely acclaimed Ultium battery technology.

The company has yet to sell commercially available vehicles, but has drawn comparisons in its ambitions to electric auto company Tesla.

GM stake would be locked up until 2025, the automaker said.

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However, she wouldn't comment on whether GM is in talks with other companies.

Nikola will remain responsible for the sales and marketing of the Badger, which is expected to make its public debut at Nikola World 2020 in Arizona, scheduled for December 3 to December 5.

The partnership gives Nikola - which has yet to generate any meaningful revenue - an immediate boost of legitimacy and the industrial might of an established player, while also benefiting GM.

GM has its own battery electric truck, a GMC Hummer, due to go on sale a year ahead of the Badger.

Nikola shares leaped more than 32 per cent to Dollars 46.95 in trading before Tuesday's opening bell.

Shares of both companies surged after the announcement, with Nikola soaring 53 percent and GM rising more than nine percent.

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Many investors had expected Tesla's recent stock split and profit - the first time it has had four consecutive quarters in the black - to clear the way for entry, something that would see a rush of index-linked purchases of Tesla shares.

"We are growing our presence in multiple high-volume EV segments while building scale to lower battery and fuel cell costs and increase profitability", CEO Barra said. "You couldn't dream of a better partnership than this", said Nikola Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton.

On July 23, Nikola broke ground on the first phase of a USA factory in Coolidge, Arizona, with completion expected by the fourth quarter of next year.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said the partnership was a "potential game changing" deal for Nikola, as it could save the company more than $4 billion in battery and powertrain costs over the next decade, and more than $1 billion in engineering and validation costs. Partnering with such a dominant player in the automotive space is a huge win for Nikola, adding enormous credibility and capability to Nikola's product lineup. "General Motors is one of the top engineering and manufacturing companies in the world", Milton said.

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

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