Nikola gains huge CNH investment injection

Strategic partnership to boost truck production and hit Europe

Nikola gains huge CNH investment injection
The line-up of Two, Tre and One


CNH Industrial has agreed to lead Nikola Corporation’s Series D investment round with US$250 million (A$369 million) aimed at accelerating the building of electric trucks.

Nikola’s zero-emission heavy duty trucks, powered by it own hydrogen fuel cell and battery technology, will be the first-to-production, the partners say.

The models include the Nikola One bonneted prime mover, Nikola Two day cab and Nikola Tre Europe-compliant cab-over.

Nikola anticipates raising more than US$1 billion in the D round, granting approximately 25 per cent ownership to new investors and business partners, including CNH Industrial.

"Nikola has the technology but needs a partner with a European network to achieve it in a timely manner," Nikola CEO Trevor Milton says.

"With CNH Industrial’s investment and partnership, we can now bring zero-emission trucks to Europe.

"It is exciting to see Iveco taking the lead in providing zero-emission solutions in Europe through its partnership with Nikola.

"By bringing CNH Industrial on board, we now have access to manufacturing know-how, purchasing power, validated truck parts, plant engineering and much more.

"Few will doubt our ability to commercialise a truck now."

CNH commercial vehicle and powertrain subsidiaries Iveco and FPT Industrial will provide engineering and manufacturing expertise to effort.

The announcement comes as CNH announced a restructuring that would see Iveco and FPT spun off in a single listed entity, in a move that would see FPT Industrial "continue to produce powertrain solutions and accelerate the development of alternative propulsion solutions".

Read about how the CNH restructuring will affect Iveco and FPT, here

Nikola is to contribute technologies for a European joint venture with CNH that will include class-leading fuel-cell expertise, e-axles, inverters, independent suspension, onboard hydrogen fuel storage, over-the-air software update functionality, infotainment, vehicle controls, vehicle-to-station communication protocols, power electronics, and access to a hydrogen refuelling network to complement CNH efforts in Europe.

The European joint venture will cover both battery electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) to be launched by the fourth quarter of calendar 2022.

"Global climate change, geopolitical conflicts, future availability of fossil fuels and a self-aware circular economy all call for a fundamental change in how we operate," CNH commercial and specialty vehicles president Gerrit Marx says.

"While today LNG delivers significantly lower well-to-wheel emissions, in the medium to long-term, fuel-cell and BEV technologies will deliver the ultimate goal of zero-emission trucking. With our LNG technology we have proven to be European disruptors, taking the lead in industry transformations including fuel supply and lifecycle ownership."

Nikola plans to leverage Iveco’s European sales, service and warranty channels to accelerate access to the European market.

"The increasing focus on the recognition that there needs to be fundamental reductions in automotive emissions is driving our industry to rapidly seek advanced technological solutions," CNH CEO Hubertus Mühlhäuser says.

"Iveco is now ideally placed to offer customers an even wider range of transport solutions including natural gas, electric and fuel-cell powered vehicles."


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