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GM to build electric truck, supply batteries for Nikola

GM will take an 11% ownership stake in the company and will engineer and build Nikola's Badger electric pickup truck and its hydrogen fuel cell.

DETROIT — General Motors has formed its second major electric vehicle partnership in less than a week, this time a $2 billion deal with startup Nikola.

GM will take an 11% ownership stake in the company and will engineer and build Nikola's Badger electric pickup truck and its signature hydrogen fuel cell. GM said fuel cells will become more important in the semi-truck market because they are more efficient than gas or diesel.

The Badger, which was first announced on Feb 10, 2020, is expected to be in production by the end of 2022.

“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 General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra in a statement. “We are growing our presence in multiple high-volume EV segments while building scale to lower battery and fuel cell costs and increase profitability."

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Credit: AP
FILE - This Jan. 27, 2020, file photo shows a General Motors logo at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in Hamtramck, Mich. General Motors is taking a $2 billion equity stake in Nikola that will see it engineer and make the company's Badger, a fully-electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric pickup truck. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

“Nikola is one of the most innovative companies in the world. General Motors is one of the top engineering and manufacturing companies in the world. You couldn’t dream of a better partnership than this,” said Nikola Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton.

GM also will get a seat on Nikola's board.

It's the second major partnership announced by GM this month. On Thursday GM said it would join with Japanese automaker Honda to share the costs of building vehicles powered by batteries and internal combustion engines.

The scope of the proposed alliance includes a range of vehicles to be sold under each company’s distinct brands, as well as cooperation in purchasing, research and development, and connected services.

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