There's plenty enough space for both electric trucks, GM's CEO says.
In case you missed it, GM has just announced a strategic partnership with EV startup Nikola, which takes its moniker from the first half of Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla's name. The partnership, set to expire after ten years, grants GM $2 billion in newly issued Nikola stock and the right to nominate one Nikola board member. In exchange, Nikola will gain access to GM's parts and components, as well as services to do with the engineering, validation, homologation, and production of the Nikola Badger - Nikola's battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell pickup truck.
If it seems concerning that GM is prepared to build a vehicle that appears to have so much overlap with its own GMC Hummer EV, don't worry; GM isn't sweating it.
"There's going to be plenty of opportunity and different desires for different product so there's room for the Badger and the GMC Hummer and other products we put into the marketplace from an EV perspective," GM CEO Mary Barra said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "This does validate our technology; this is the second company to choose our technology over others. It gives us scale and efficiencies to drive cost down."
The first company to "choose [GM's] technology over others" was Honda, with whom GM has signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding to form an alliance in the North American market. That memorandum was born out of an earlier agreement between GM and Honda to partner on a pair of battery-electric vehicles based on GM's Ultium battery tech, and it could see the two automakers further sharing platforms and propulsion systems.
The announcement means that there's now one more future vehicle with a sure foothold in the rapidly growing pure-electric pickup truck segment, which over the coming years will add entries from Ford and Chevrolet, the Tesla Cybertruck, Rivian R1T, Bollinger B2, and Lordstown Endurance. GM also has a stake in Lordstown Motors, investing some $25 million in cash and $50 million in assets, including its former Lordstown, Ohio plant, into the startup.
It's a rapid expansion for a segment that, at the moment, doesn't even exist, and GM's investments are especially "interesting" in light of the fact that pickup trucks represent "the Detroit Three's dominant profit center," Morningstar analyst David Whiston notes.