CNH is taking a $250 million strategic stake in Nikola, comprising $100m cash and $150m of services, such as product development, manufacturing engineering and other technical support.
This will enable, it says, Nikola to commercialise production of heavy-duty trucks powered by fuel cell and battery technology.
Nikola’s business model is to provide vehicle, service, maintenance and fuel costs at an all-inclusive lease rate. This, says the company, will give operators the certainty of a total cost of ownership at or below that of diesel-powered vehicles.
IVECO and FPT Industrial, CNH’s commercial vehicle and powertrain brands, will assist with engineering and manufacturing expertise to industrialise Nikola’s fuel cell and battery electric trucks.
The vehicles to benefit from the partnership include the Nikola Tre, unveiled in November last year, with the integration of IVECO’s S-Way truck technology into the battery-electric powered Nikola Tre.
In the longer term, a European joint venture will cover both battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), aiming to launch by the end of 2022. Nikola plans to leverage IVECO’s European sales, service and warranty channels to accelerate access to the European market.
Nikola is aiming to secure $1 billion in this latest round of funding.
“The time has come to finally provide a zero-emission solution to the heavy-duty truck market. While other OEMs believe zero-emission solutions cannot happen in the timeframe regulators have mandated, Nikola, FPT Industrial and IVECO are proving that these timelines are not unreasonable,” says Trevor Milton, Nikola’s CEO.