With Trevor Milton’s outing as CEO and board member of Nikola in late September, the announced partnership with General Motors was cast into uncertainty. There’s a December deadline for the deal, but Nikola is setting the record straight, should it not go according to plan.
The Badger, Nikola’s pickup truck offered with a BEV and an FCEV with BEV option, won’t happen if GM isn’t partner, CEO Mark Russell tells Bloomberg, as cited by Automotive News. The Badger, officially announced in early 2020 and, for the time being, still tagged with a 2022 delivery date, is Nikola’s first and only pickup design, which GM would build using proprietary tech and hardware in exchange for 11 percent of Nikola.
“The Badger is part of our discussions with GM. And we’ve been clear all along that we wouldn’t build a Badger without an OEM partner,” Russell says.
That said, don’t cry for me, Argentina Nikola, because Russell has a plan in case the deal doesn’t go through.
“We have the ability and we have a base plan of doing it ourselves,” he explains. “If we have a partner, that just enables us to consider going faster and helps reduce the risk. We’ve proven that over the years that we are a partnership company when those things are available to us.”
To say that Nikola has had a very rough 2020 is an understatement at this point. Before Milton’s outing as CEO, on the heels of harassment and assault allegations, Nikola was accused of fraud and deceit, selling designs and ideas to investors it never had the ability – or wish, for that matter – to bring to fruition. The revelations came right after the GM partnership’s announcement and might end up playing a significant part in its dissolution.
Should the GM partnership go through (which we’ll find out on December 3), the Badger will be made available by the end of 2022. The BEV option brings a 300-mile (483-km) range, while the FCEV delivers up to 600 miles (966 km). Zero to 60 times will be of just 2.9 seconds, according to Nikola.