CNH Industrial to take $250M strategic stake in Nikola; partnership on fuel-cell and battery-electric heavy-duty trucks
CNH Industrial N.V., the owner of IVECO and FPT Industrial, intends to enter into a strategic and exclusive heavy-duty truck partnership with Nikola Corporation to accelerate industry transformation towards emission neutrality of Class 8 heavy-duty trucks in North America and Europe through the adoption of fuel-cell technology.
Nikola’s zero-emission Heavy Duty Trucks, powered by proprietary hydrogen fuel cell and battery technology, will be the first-to-production. The company’s business model foresees an industry-first 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.
CNH Industrial will take a $250-million strategic stake in Nikola as the lead Series D investor, comprising $100 million cash and $150 million in services, such as product development, manufacturing engineering, and other technical assistance, as well as supply of certain key components to accelerate the production timeline of the Nikola TWO and Nikola TRE.
Pre-money valuation was set at $3 billion. Nikola anticipates raising more than $1 billion in the D round, granting approximately 25% ownership to new investors and business partners, including CNH Industrial.
IVECO and FPT Industrial, the commercial vehicle and powertrain brands of CNH Industrial respectively, will assist in engineering and manufacturing expertise to industrialize Nikola’s fuel-cell and battery electric trucks.
The following vehicles will benefit from this 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.
FPT Industrial has been at the forefront of alternative propulsion solutions for over two decades, having produced some 50,000 natural gas-powered engines to date. IVECO is the European leader in natural gas vehicles, with some 28,000 of its trucks and buses powered by FPT Industrial engines.
FPT Industrial and IVECO have been instrumental in the development and expansion of Europe’s natural gas refueling network, in addition to successfully introducing new powertrain technology. Following a similar path, Nikola is actively working with partners to develop the required hydrogen refueling infrastructure in North America and Europe.
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 powered Nikola TRE cab-over model for both the North American and European markets.
In the long-term, a European Joint Venture will cover both battery electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) launched by Q4 2022. Nikola plans to leverage IVECO’s European sales, service and warranty channels to accelerate access to the European market.