Nikola and GM are teaming up to take their powertrain technology up a level. The former will exchange US$2 billion in newly issued stock for in-kind services and access to General Motors' parts and components. The latter will be subject to a staged lock-up provision starting in a year and ending in June 2025. GM will engineer and manufacture the Nikola Badger battery electric and fuel cell versions.
Nikola Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton commented, “General Motors is one of the top engineering and manufacturing companies in the world. You couldn't dream of a better partnership than this. By joining together, we get access to their validated parts for all of our programs, General Motors’ Ultium battery technology and a multi-billion dollar fuel cell program ready for production. Nikola immediately gets decades of supplier and manufacturing knowledge, validated and tested production-ready EV propulsion, world-class engineering and investor confidence. Most importantly, General Motors has a vested interest to see Nikola succeed.”
The plan is to start with the truck sector and then investigate stationary applications like the generator market.
Meanwhile partners Renault and Nissan have signed a MoU with Uber designed to foster greater EV use by its customers, focusing initially on the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Portugal. It follows a successful pilot venture in the UK.
Jordi Vila, Divisional Vice President at Nissan Europe, commented: “From 10 years of experience with the Nissan LEAF, we know people love driving electric, and that making the switch can help drivers to save money and support the clean air ambitions of our major cities. By teaming up with Uber in the UK, we have already been able to increase the awareness and adoption of zero-emission vehicles, and we are looking forward to exploring how to roll that out further in Europe.” The goal is that riders will be able to select a zero-emission vehicle in cities representing 80% of Uber European business by the end of next year.
Battery recycling in the spotlight
The industry has failed to effectively grasp the recycling nettle. Hyundai Motor Group and SK Innovation intend to address this. Dongseob Jee, President of SK Innovation’s Battery Business noted, “This collaboration is highly meaningful in that the two have joined forces to collaborate across the entire EV cycle. Both companies will create a seamless system to explore new business opportunities across the whole battery value chain.”
The areas they will look at include what they are calling “a virtuous cycle of battery usage known as the Battery as a Service (BaaS), which includes lease or rental service. As a result, the cooperation is expected to catalyse the spread of diverse cooperation systems between mobility and battery companies.”
Examining how to improve Kia’s e-Niro model is the first item on the agenda.