Nikola Motor Company

Nikola shares rise as General Motors executive backs deal

Shares of Nikola increased almost 10% on Wednesday after a General Motors executive said they still see potential in a partnership with the electric and hydrogen truck startup and discussion on a deal continues.

“We are continuing discussions,” GM President Mark Reuss said during a conference call.

A partnership with Nikola presents a big opportunity for GM for bringing fuel cell technology developed by GM and Honda to market in Class 7 and 8 commercial trucks, said Reuss.

GM and Nikola also are talking about a deal under which Nikola would pay GM to build its Badger electric pickup, Reuss said.

GM and Nikola in September laid out a deal that would give GM emissions credits from sales of the Nikola Badger, and also $750 million to fund tooling for production.

The credits could permit GM to continue to sell its highly profitable gasoline-burning pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles without being subjected to regulatory penalties.

Shares of Nikola increased in early trading Wednesday after Reuss made similar comments to CNBC.

The alliance announced in September included strategies for GM to obtain an 11% stake in Nikola, then worth about $2 billion, and payments up to $700 million for making the startup’s Badger pickup.

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