GM has dropped its plan to build the Nikola (NKLA) Badger electric/fuel cell pickup truck and take a stake in the controversial company.
However, GM will still supply Nikola with fuel cell hydrogen technology for its semi trucks.
As we have been reporting over the last few months, Nikola is currently in hot water after a report from Hindenburg Research made several allegations exposing deception by Nikola and its founder Trevor Milton, including several claims corroborated in previous reports from Electrek and Bloomberg.
Nikola issued a response to those claims, but as we reported, the response lacked any rebuttal of the main allegations of deception by the company and its founder, Milton.
For the most damning one, the claim that it faked the first video of its hydrogen truck driving, the company even admitted to it without issuing an apology and, instead, claimed its deception was fine due to a technicality.
Milton ended up leaving the company as the pressure started to increase.
All those revelations came in the wake of the announcement that GM was partnering with Nikola to bring its electric-hydrogen pickup, the Badger, to market and taking a stake in the company.
The deal, which involved GM providing its battery and fuel cell technology to Nikola, sparked a lot of controversy since Nikola had previously claimed to have developed its own tech in those areas.
GM has been criticized for partnering with a company lacking credibility and trying to justify its deception.
We have reached out to GM following the revelations, but the company has always backed Nikola amid the deception and claimed that it did enough due diligence.
However, GM seemed to be considering walking away from the deal in the last few weeks.
Now GM and Nikola have released a joint announcement confirming that the original deal to partner on making the Badger electric-hydrogen pickup is off, but they are still partnering on the semi trucks:
“The agreement between Nikola and GM is subject to negotiation and execution of definitive documentation acceptable to both parties. The MOU does not include the previously contemplated GM equity stake in Nikola or the development of the Nikola Badger. As previously announced, the Nikola Badger program was dependent on an OEM partnership. Nikola will refund all previously submitted order deposits for the Nikola Badger.”
As we previously reported, the Nikola Badger project originated from Nikola’s Milton not liking the Tesla Cybertruck.
Before Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck last year, Milton tweeted renders of a pickup truck that the company created and suggested that Tesla could use those for the Cybertruck since Nikola didn’t plan to build a pickup truck.
The comment appeared to be tongue-in-cheek since Nikola also accused Tesla of stealing its design for its electric semi-truck.
However, after Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck and its polarizing design, Milton said that he planned for Nikola to build the vehicle, named Badger.
In February, Nikola announced its plans for the Badger with a battery/fuel-cell hybrid powertrain enabling 600 miles of range, 0-60 mph acceleration in 2.9 seconds, and released a few renders.
A few months later, Nikola started taking $100 to $5,000 deposits for the pickup truck and launched a massive marketing campaign to try to accumulate reservations, including through a partnership with the Diesel Brothers that saw them receiving generous amounts of shares when they generated orders.
While most of the previously announced deal between GM and Nikola revolved around the Badger, it also involved GM supplying Nikola with its hydrogen fuel cell technology for its upcoming semi trucks.
That deal is still happening according to a new non-binding memorandum of understanding signed today.