in , ,


GM CEO Mary Barra Doesn’t Appear Concerned, However

Nikola Badger GM-Nikola Deal Partnership

Yesterday General Motors announced a $2 billion investment into startup automaker Nikola in exchange for an 11 percent stake in the company. But that’s not all, as details included that the GM will in fact engineer, validate and build the Nikola Badger electric/fuel cell pickup truck. This seems at odds with the Detroit automaker’s current plans to offer up electric trucks of its own, starting with the 2022 GMC Hummer EV. But GM CEO Mary Barra doesn’t seem too worried.

“There’s going to be plenty of opportunity and different desires for different product so there’s room for the Badger and the GMC Hummer and other products we put into the marketplace from an EV perspective,” Barra said during a conference call, per The Detroit Free Press. “This does validate our technology; this is the second company to choose our technology over others. It gives us scale and efficiencies to drive cost down.”

It could be down to pricing, or the demographic. The base version of the Nikola Badger is planned to start at $60,000 USD. A base GMC Hummer EV could start around there also. But where Nikola will offer a hydrogen fuel cell range extender in its top-end version, the Hummer will be purely electric. And when it comes to preliminary performance and capabilities, the tale of the tape is otherwise very close. But without having the spec sheets in front of us, the Badger and the Hummer could come to market being completely different sizes.

Nikola also falls into a category consisting of a fresh, yet unproven automaker that seem to attract young, tech-savvy and affluent buyers. This is shared with the likes of Rivian, Tesla, and Bollinger. Meanwhile, trucks like Hummer EV, electric Chevrolet Silverado, and electric Ford F-150 are examples of the established guard bucking traditional fuels to pursue these same customers. Time will tell if it was worth the effort, or if they should have just gone after the Ram TRX.

Nikola Badger

GM will get a head start on Nikola, as it plans to begin offering the highly anticipated Hummer EV by fall of 2021. The Nikola Badger, which can be reserved for $100, is targeted to launch in 2022. By comparison, the Tesla Cybertruck is still expected to launch at the end of 2021, although 2022 seems more likely. The Rivian R1T, meanwhile, will start production by June 2021. Bollinger Motors plans to begin deliveries by 2021, as well. The electric Ford F-150 is expected to launch by mid-2022.

GM is investing $2.2 billion to retool its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly to make all-electric vehicles including the GMC Hummer pickup and SUV in 2021. An electric Chevrolet Silverado is expected to follow. GM hasn’t commented on where it will make the Badger, but the obvious signs point to D-Ham at this time.

Barra said GM is “open to consider additional deals” involving its EV technology. Even the semi-truck market is said to be an opportunity. After starting with the Nikola Badger, GM will carry its partnership with Nikola onto other future EVs such as Nikola Tre, Nikola One and Nikola Two electric semi-trucks as well as the NZT, a personal watercraft vehicle.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2023 Ford Bronco Raptor


Dan Akerson C8 Corvette