In September, General Motors and Nikola, an electric truck startup, announced a strategic partnership under which the former would exclusively supply fuel cells for the startup's upcoming class 7/8 trucks and produce its Badger pick-up truck in return for an 11 percent stake. Shortly afterward, the deal came into question after Hindenburg Research made various allegations exposing deception by Nikola and Trevor Milton, the startup's founder, who later ended up leaving the company.
Now, both firms have announced a reworked, smaller agreement that keeps the fuel-cell partnership alive but does away with plans for manufacturing Badger, Nikola's electric pickup truck. The new deal, which is "a non-binding memorandum of understanding" and "subject to negotiation and execution of definitive documentation," will also eliminate the previously announced equity stake in the startup for General Motors. The announcement by Nikola detailed the fate of the earlier agreement:
The MOU does not include the previously contemplated GM equity stake in Nikola or development of the Nikola Badger. As previously announced, the Nikola Badger program was dependent on an OEM partnership. Nikola will refund all previously submitted order deposits for the Nikola Badger.
Under the new deal, General Motors will still supply its fuel cells for Nikola's class 7/8 trucks. The firms are also discussing Nikola's potential usage of Detroit automaker's Ultrium battery system for the aforementioned trucks.