It all depends on one thing.
Nikola has been on something of a rollercoaster ride. Early last month, the electric truck start-up announced a $2 billion agreement with General Motors that called for the latter to assume an 11 percent stake in Nikola in exchange for, among other things, engineering, homologating and building the Nikola Badger electric truck. GM clarified this would not interfere with its own EV truck plans, such as the GMC Hummer, which will officially debut this week.
Just days after this announcement, Hindenburg Research released a short-seller report accusing Nikola of deception, fraud, and misleading investors. This not only resulted in Nikola founder and CEO Trevor Milton resigning, but also a 50 percent drop in share value.
And now those shares have decreased another 16 percent this past Friday, according to Bloomberg. What happened?
Nikola CEO Mark Russell told the news outlet he still sees a path forward for the company even if a final agreement with GM can't be reached. If you recall, GM still intends to pursue a deal with Nikola, despite everything, but reports indicate it wants to renegotiate some of the terms. Nikola's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission states both parties have until December 3, 2020 to work something out. Both parties can legally exit the deal past that date. If that does indeed happen, Russell says his company will be ready.
"We have the ability and we have a base plan of doing it ourselves. If we have a partner, that just enables us to consider going faster and helps reduce the risk," he said. "We've proven that over the years that we are a partnership company when those things are available to us."
Russell said something else interesting: Nikola will drop the Badger completely if it can't secure an agreement with GM or any other OEM. "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," he said.
Plans to develop a hydrogen infrastructure on its own still remains intact. As the sides continue to attempt to hammer out a deal, both are fully aware that Nikola's share price has fallen more than 70 percent since early June, just after it went public. This reality could decrease Nikola's negotiating position even further. We'll know whether Nikola has a future with GM fairly soon.