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GM Plugs Itself Into Startup Automaker Nikola To The Tune Of $2 Billion For 11 Percent

Nikola Badger Concept

Two major electric pickup trucks are about to be built by the same company. General Motors today announced a major partnership with startup automaker Nikola. The Phoenix-based automaker is giving 11 percent of its company, valued at $2 billion USD, in-kind for what GM will do in return. GM – with all of its resources, experience, and supplier base – will be trusted with engineering, validating and manufacturing the Nikola Badger electric pickup truck. The GMC Hummer EV will have to make room.

General Motors will integrate its new Ultium battery technology and Hydrotec fuel cell technology into the Nikola Badger, which can currently be reserved for $100. In its most capable form, Nikola says that the Badger will have 906 horsepower, 980 lb-ft of torque, and a towing capacity of more than 8,000 pounds. Before this announcement, the truck is said to come with a 160.0-kWh battery pack and an optional 120.0-kW fuel cell. The Badger will seat up to five, have a 15-kW power outlet for hooking up tools or camping equipment. In terms of off-road capabilities, the truck will be able to climb a 50 percent grade without stalling, says Nikola.

Nikola Badger Interior

GM did not yet specify where the Nikola Badger would be built. But with the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant being re-tooled to build alternative energy vehicles, including its BT1 electric trucks such as the 2022 GMC Hummer EV, that would seem like the obvious front runner. Production of the Badger is set to start in 2022.

Beyond the Nikola Badger, the automaker is expected to see cost reduction of its future products as a result of this GM deal. These vehicles include: Nikola Tre, Nikola One, Nikola Two and NZT. General Motors will also integrate its fuel cell technology into Nikola’s Class 7/8 semi-trucks.

As for the $2 billion in newly issued common stock, General Motors will be subject to a staged lock-up provision beginning in one year and ending in June 2025. Nikola will be responsible for the sales and marketing for the Badger and will retain the Nikola Badger brand.

The Badger was first announced on Feb. 10, 2020 in a concept form (pictured). Its public reveal with take place on December 3-5, at Nikola World 2020 in Arizona.

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.

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