It is over. The Nikola Badger electric pickup truck is a no-go. The stillborn truck that may have been a daring addition to the smorgasbord of forthcoming electric pickup trucks has been stuffed underground for good. Name it what chances are you’ll: one other tragedy of 2020; a smoke and mirrors dream that by no means actually had hope; a stroke of fine luck for different electrical startups. Regardless, with out an OE partnership, the Badger program is not going to proceed.
However wait, did not Nikola simply strike a take care of Common Motors that included the manufacturing of the Nikola Badger? Sure, and that is why there was precise hope that the Badger, beneath the wing of an enormous deep-pocked producer akin to GM, would truly come to fruition. The proposed strategic alliance hashed out in September principally stated that GM would take a $2 billion equity stake in Nikola (about 11 p.c possession) and would engineer and produce the 906-hp Badger. The settlement, which additionally included some GM tech for Nikola semi-trucks, was scheduled to have closed in early December.
Nevertheless, that unique deal—fraught with legalese drama—has modified. On the final day of November, GM and Nikola scrapped the unique strategic alliance and signed one thing new. On this new non-binding Memorandum of Understanding, GM agreed to provide Nikola with solely its Hydrotec hydrogen gasoline cell expertise to combine into the EV producer’s industrial Class 7 and Class eight zero-emission semi-trucks—if and when the semis ever obtained to that time. Nikola expects to start testing by the tip of 2021. Nikola chief govt officer Mark Russell sees semi-trucks as the corporate’s “core enterprise” and gasoline cells as an more and more essential phase of the semi-truck market due to their effectivity in weight and consumption.
For now, the deal does not give Nikola entry to GM’s Ultium battery technology. Because the unique partnership additionally included GM supplying Nikola with semi-truck tech, the brand new deal (which isn’t a carried out deal but, by the best way) principally axed GM’s fairness stake and the Badger portion of the outdated one. Sadly, the Badger-related bits have been what mattered most to pickup truck lovers.
Is there any hope for the Nikola Badger electrical pickup truck? The reply appears to be a convincing no. It is lifeless. This dreary information has been substantiated by the truth that Nikola is actively refunding all preorder deposits for the Badger.