CNH Industrial N.V. (CNHI) has announced its intention to partner with Phoenix-based Nikola Corp. on heavy-duty fuel cell and battery electric trucks for North America and Europe.
Nikola’s zero-emission heavy-duty trucks, powered by proprietary hydrogen fuel cell and battery technology, will be the first to production. The company foresees an “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.
CNHI, based in Europe, is one of the world’s biggest capital goods companies. It will take a $250 million strategic stake in Nikola as the lead Series D investor. Pre-money valuation was set at $3 billion. Nikola anticipates raising over $1 billion in the D round, granting approximately 25% ownership to new investors and business partners, including CNHI.
IVECO and FPT Industrial, the commercial vehicle and powertrain brands of CNHI, respectively, will assist with engineering and manufacturing to industrialize Nikola’s fuel cell and battery electric trucks. The following vehicles will benefit from the 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 joint venture with CNH Industrial that will include 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.
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 Nikola TRE cab-over model for both the North American and European markets. In the long term, the European joint venture will cover both battery electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles, launched by Q4 2022.
“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. IVECO is now ideally placed to offer customers an even wider range of transport solutions, including natural gas, electric and fuel cell-powered vehicles,” says Hubertus Mühlhäuser, CEO of CNHI. “Nikola’s choice of IVECO as its strategic partner is testament to our internationally recognized excellence in heavy-duty trucks and alternative powertrain technologies.”
“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 time frame regulators have mandated, Nikola, FPT Industrial and IVECO are proving that these timelines are not unreasonable,” adds Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola Corp.