General Motors looks as though it could return to the semi truck business, this time with hydrogen fuel cell tech for motivation.
In a recent tweet, General Motors CEO Mary Barra stated that GM was “working to put everyone in an EV, including in pickup trucks and semi trucks.”
Part of the effort will be “working with like-minded innovators” that will speed-up EV “development, production, consumer adoption – and ultimately reach an all-electric future.”
We’re working to put everyone in an #EV, including in pickup trucks and semi-trucks. Working with like-minded innovators will help us accelerate EV development, production, consumer adoption – and ultimately reach an all-electric future. https://t.co/ZJSguOXU6F
— Mary Barra (@mtbarra) September 8, 2020
Those “like-minded innovators” include EV startup Nikola Motor Corp. GM recently announced that it was forming a strategic partnership with Nikola, with the latter utilizing GM’s Ultium battery technology and Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell technology in various future products, and the former receiving a $2 billion equity stake in Nikola.
The new agreement extends GM’s hydrogen fuel cell technology to the Class 7/8 semi truck market for high-volume commercialization. Nikola’s future semi-truck products include the One, Two, and Tre.
“Fuel cells will become increasingly important to the semi-truck market because they are more efficient than gas or diesel. General Motors sees additional growth opportunities in multiple transportation, stationary and mobile-power end markets,” GM recently stated in a press release.
General Motors last sold semi trucks through a joint venture with Volvo.
Investors responded favorably to the news, with shares of Nikola rising over 48 percent to $52.94 following GM’s investment, handing General Motors more than $500 million in paper gain. What’s more, General Motors says it expects to receive more than $4 billion of benefits between the equity value of its shares, contract manufacturing of the Nikola Badger pickup truck, supply contracts for batteries and fuel cells, and EV credits retained over the course of the contract.
Meanwhile, Nikola expects the deal to save some $4 billion in battery and powertrain costs over 10 years, and more than $1 billion in engineering and validation costs.