Nikola attracted a serious industry partner to industrialize fuel-cell and battery-electric heavy-duty trucks.
CNH Industrial announced its intention to participate in the Nikola Corporation’s Series D round with a $250 million investment to become a strategic and exclusive heavy-duty truck partner in North America and Europe.
The pre-money valuation was set at $3 billion, which means that with over $1 billion anticipated in Series D, new investors and business partners will obtain about 25% of the ownership (including roughly over 6% to CNH Industrial).
“Nikola’s zero-emission Heavy Duty Trucks, powered by proprietary hydrogen fuel cell and battery technology, will be the first-to-production. The company’s disruptive business model foresees an industry-first ‘all-in’ lease rate, which includes vehicle, service, maintenance and fuel costs, providing long-term total cost of ownership certainty at or below diesel costs.”
CNH Industrial, as a partner, brings to the table IVECO commercial vehicle manufacturer and FPT Industrial powertrain brand, which would significantly help Nikola in engineering and manufacturing.
“IVECO and FPT Industrial, the commercial vehicle and powertrain brands of CNH Industrial respectively, will assist in engineering and manufacturing expertise to industrialize Nikola’s fuel-cell and battery electric trucks. The following vehicles will benefit from this partnership: the Nikola ONE, a NAFTA- compliant Class 8 sleeper truck; the Nikola TWO, a NAFTA-compliant Class 8 day-cab truck; and the Nikola TRE, a European compliant cab-over Heavy Duty Truck.
Nikola will contribute technologies for a European JV with CNH Industrial that will include class-leading fuel-cell expertise, e-axles, inverters, independent suspension, on-board hydrogen fuel storage, over-the-air software update functionality, infotainment, vehicle controls, vehicle-to-station communication protocols, power electronics, and access to a hydrogen fueling network.
Fuel-cell technology is the logical next step to liquefied natural gas-(LNG) powered engines as it builds on existing refueling networks, enabling local on-site production of hydrogen. FPT Industrial has been at the forefront of alternative propulsion solutions for over two decades, having produced over 40,000 natural gas-powered engines to date. IVECO is the absolute European leader in natural gas vehicles, with some 28,000 of its trucks and buses powered by FPT Industrial engines.
FPT Industrial and IVECO have been instrumental in the development and expansion of Europe’s natural gas refueling network, in addition to successfully introducing new powertrain technology. Following a similar path, Nikola is actively working with partners to develop the required hydrogen refueling infrastructure in North America and Europe.
Strategic near-term project milestones include the industrialization of the Nikola TWO fuel cell- powered Class 8 truck for the North American market, as well as the integration of IVECO S-Way truck technology into the battery-electric powered Nikola TRE cab-over model for both the North American and European markets. In the long-term, a European joint-venture will cover both battery electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) launched by Q4 2022. Nikola plans to leverage IVECO’s European sales, service and warranty channels to accelerate access to the European market.”
Currently Nikola plans three models:
Besides trucks, Nikola hinted also at other, all-electric products:
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