September 9, 2020
Nikola and General Motors are joining forces. On Tuesday, the two car manufacturers formed a strategic partnership that will allow the Nikola Badger, an electric pickup truck, to be engineered and manufactured by the automotive giant.
"GM was kind of a no-brainer" Trevor Milton, Nikola founder and executive chairman, told Cheddar when explaining how the EV manufacturer chose who to partner with. "Their battery alone will save Nikola over $4 billion just in our heavy-duty truck costs alone. That makes up for the whole program, and everything else is just gravy."
General Motors will be in charge of building and engineering the Nikola Badger, a fully-electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric pickup truck that is set to go into production in 2022. Milton says that if it weren't for his company's new partnership, the project would take considerably longer.
"If we were to do this on our own, it would take us a few more years than that. So we're lucky to have GM on our side and also their purchasing power."
Tuesday's news also lifted Nikola to a surge on Wall Street, with share prices soaring over 40 percent on the day. "Days like today, obviously, it's a lot of fun," said Milton."It's very rare in your life, do you ever get to see those kinds of numbers."
However, the Nikola founder said that the company's mission is to continue to grow and hit all of its annual priorities. He added that now is the time for investors to buy on Nikola, which began trading on the Nasdaq in July.
"It's a chance to get in early. It's a chance to grow with the company and also experience the volatility," said Milton, comparing Nikola to the early days of Tesla."It's going to be up and down. You can't worry about it. But if you're a long-term investor, this is going to be one hell of a fun ride.'
Speaking of Tesla, Milton expressed that his company's deal with GM gets Nikola to the next level — one that allows it to compete against the EV giant.
"GM's got the best pricing of almost anyone in the world. So we can now come in and compete with [companies] like Tesla and actually have better pricing than they do on our parts because we're consolidating it with GM's quantities," Milton said.
"We're going to be competitive amongst the best of the world. You just could never dream of that kind of partnership."