Nikola shares recover some losses while investors wait for the deal with General Motors.


Nikola shares regained some of their losses on Monday after the Detroit carmaker slipped 16 percent on Friday because investors feared that General Motors would decide not to invest in the company.

The Phoenix-based truck startup actually rose 9 percent to $21.70 after the opening bell on Wall Street.

GM and Nikola are currently holding talks about a possible partnership under which GM would sell batteries and fuel cells to Nikola and produce its electric pickup, the so-called badger, in exchange for a $2 billion stake.

However, on Friday Nikola boss Mark Russell told the Financial Times and Bloomberg that the company was prepared to drop the idea of building the badger if it could not make a deal with GM or any other major automaker.

While Nikola and GM have until December 3 to close a deal, negotiations between the two companies should be completed by the end of September.

An analyst note from Paul Coster of J.P. Morgan earlier last week said that the partnership would likely continue.

“Nikola needs access to GM’s supply chain, engineering resources, Ultium battery and Hydrotec fuel cells to make the Class 8 truck initiative risk-free,” Coster wrote in a note to customers.

“GM needs to see a billion-dollar return on investment in hydrogen fuel cells, and Nikola may be the best option available”.

GM’s autonomous vehicle arm Cruise revealed last week that it will be deploying robotic cars without human assistance in San Francisco as it seeks to compete with driverless vehicles like the Tesla and Google’s Waymo.

The car company received approval from the California Department of Transportation to have the cars running independently by the end of the year.

Ray Wert, a spokesman for GM’s Cruise, said Cruise will drive quarter by quarter in San Francisco and the driverless vehicles will start slowly before spreading to the entire city.

“We understand that this is both a trust race and a technology race,” Wert told AP. “It’s absolutely a matter of making sure that we do this with San Francisco.”

The move follows Waymo’s announcement to open its autonomous ride-hailing service in vehicles without human drivers to the public in the Phoenix area.

The service has been made available in a limited area because Arizona regulations are relatively permissive and vehicles require a detailed three-dimensional map to learn about the road environment.

Arizona officials, who have taken a lenient approach to regulation, have tried to lure companies using self-propelled technology from neighboring California, where regulators are less open-minded.

Waymo, which is a division of Google’s parent company Alphabet, plans to expand the service to California.

FCA was our first OEM partner, and together we launched the world’s first and only autonomous road vehicle – no licensed human driver is required. Now we are significantly expanding our partnership and the scope of the Waymo Driver.

– John Krafcik (@johnkrafcik) July 22, 2020

A Waymo Tweet from July 2020

Unlike GM and manufacturers like Volvo and Tesla, Waymo has said that its focus is on providing an autonomous cab service as opposed to autonomous vehicles. The company works with the Avis Budget Group, which manages the physical fleet of vehicles.

The race toward autonomous vehicles has slowed somewhat in recent years after a Uber 2018 autonomous test SUV ran over a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. This was believed to be the first pedestrian fatality associated with the self-propelled technology.

Uber suspended testing in Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto due to the accident.

Waymo claims that more than 20 million miles of autonomous driving tests were conducted by January 2020.


Leave A Reply