General Motors has ditched plans to build Nikola's electric/fuel-cell hybrid pickup and it will no longer take a stake in the company. Nikola has announced a revamped, non-binding agreement that should see it use GM's Hydrotec fuel-cell system in its commercial semi trucks.
The two sides are in talks over whether to employ GM's Ultimum battery system in Nikola’s medium- and long-haul trucks. The latter plans to start testing production prototypes of those vehicles by the end of next year.
Under the terms of the original $2 billion deal, which this agreement supplants, GM was going to take an 11 percent stake in Nikola. The reworked agreement follows fraud allegations that have been laid against the company and its founder and former executive chairman Trevor Milton. Two women have accused him of sexual assault, CNBC reports.
The fate of the Badger is unclear. Nikola said that the project depended on having a partnership with a manufacturer. It will refund all order deposits for the pickup.
“The Badger is on pause,” a Nikola spokesperson told Engadget. “Heavy trucks remain our core business and we are 100 percent focused on hitting our development milestones to bring clean hydrogen and battery-electric commercial trucks to market.”