GM’s Big Electric Truck Deal

General Motors formally teamed up with Nikola Motors, inking a deal yesterday to help the electric-truck startup to develop and manufacture new electric truck models, in exchange for an 11% stake in Nikola Corp, The Wall Street Journal reported.  Both company’s stock prices jumped after the announcement showing that investors are still sweet on big electric trucks.  Under the terms of the deal, “GM will provide electric batteries and fuel cells for Nikola’s trucks, including its future Badger pickup truck, which GM will manufacture at a still-undisclosed location. GM will receive $2 billion in stock and a seat on Nikola’s board,” The Journal reported.

Why This Matters:  When trucks go electric, Mother Earth smiles.  Trucks are a key part of the auto market for which there had not been much progress on fuel efficiency and carbon emissions until now.  And this deal also shows that the U.S. auto companies and investors are willing to make big bets on the marketability of this new technology. Hopefully, it’s a good bet. It’s just too bad that much of the push on green vehicles is caused by tougher tailpipe-emission standards in China and the European Union rather than here at home, but perhaps that will change soon.

EV Companies’ Value Sky High

Tesla has seen its stock price triple this year, during the pandemic no less.  Nikola, The Journal reports, “went public in June via a reverse merger. Investors quickly drove up its value, and Nikola even briefly passed Ford Motor Co. in market value.”  As we reported last month, Nikola is the company that just landed a contract to produce between 2500 and 5000 electric trash trucks, a deal worth about $2b. These trash trucks will be manufactured at Nikola’s U.S. factory, which is currently being built in Arizona Forbes reported. The fully electric vehicles will offer more than 150 miles of range and handle up to 1200 cans per charge and have zero emissions.

Both GM and Nikola Benefit

As Bloomberg opinion writer Brooke Sutherland put it, “The partnership will save the company an estimated $5 billion in manufacturing and engineering expenses; basically, it no longer needs to literally reinvent the wheel. But Nikola’s brand and buzz also provide valuable credibility for GM’s electric vehicle aspirations.”  And according to the experts, it is all about the packaging here.  GM was already planning to develop an electric Hummer, its signature big truck.  But now with a new “start up” partner they are in a strong position to give Musk’s highly-promoted Cybertruck a run for its money.  And that, writes Sutherland, “really is the genius of this deal.”


Up Next

Climate Week’s Biggest Corporate Commitments  Shift to “Regeneration”

Climate Week’s Biggest Corporate Commitments Shift to “Regeneration”

The most progressive corporate commitments this week involve nature-based mitigation and pushing sustainability out into their supply chains.  Walmart pledged to do some big things, including achieving zero emissions by 2040 without carbon offsets, committing to protect and restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030, and promising zero waste in the US, Canada, and Japan by 2025.

Why This Matters:  Nature-based solutions have until now been seen as greenwashing. But these new commitments go much farther.

Continue Reading 544 words
California Paves Highway with Completely Recycled Materials

California Paves Highway with Completely Recycled Materials

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer A 1000-foot stretch highway in Oroville, CA was recently repaved with recycled plastic and asphalt—the first time a state department has paved a road with 100% recycled materials. This durable recycled material can combat potholes, last two to three times longer than asphalt roads, and reuse about 150,000 single-use […]

Continue Reading 527 words
UN Biodiversity Targets Report Card: Incomplete at Best

UN Biodiversity Targets Report Card: Incomplete at Best

Yesterday the United Nations released another in its series of assessments on meeting global conservation targets, this one is a final report card on whether the world achieved the 20 global biodiversity targets set in 2010 with a 2020 deadline.  “If this were a school and these were tests, the world has flunked, said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity.

Why This Matters:  The report is another loudly ringing alarm bell that our current path is unsustainable — and we need to make a huge shift away from “business as usual” across a range of human activities. 

Continue Reading 568 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.