But unlike the deal originally discussed, the memorandum of understanding announced by the two companies Monday does not include plans for GM to manufacture the Nikola Badger electric pickup truck.
Under the new deal, GM will supply its fuel-cell system for Nikola's Class 7 and Class 8 commercial semi-trucks, Nikola said. GM had agreed to supply batteries for other Nikola vehicles including heavy trucks.
Nikola's shares initially rose nearly 8% in pre-market trading, but subsequently turned negative and were down more than 16%.
But shortly after that deal was announced, a short seller released a report leveling allegations of fraud and exaggeration against the company and it's then-chairman Trevor Milton. Under this deal, GM will simply be a supplier to Nikola. GM has completely backed out of the idea of helping Nikola produce its all-electric Badger pickup and will focus exclusively on the manufacturing of Nikolas Class 7 and Class 8 zero-emission semi-trucks that will be powered by GM's Hydrotec fuel-cell technology.
Hindenburg said Nikola's success was an "intricate fraud", including a video showing a truck rolling downhill to give the impression it was cruising on a highway, and stenciling the words "hydrogen electric" on the side of a vehicle that was actually powered by natural gas. GM shares were marginally down. GM has said it did proper due diligence before entering the partnership.
Nikola executives have said the Badger pickup would be built only through an arrangement with an outside company. The fuel-cell system will be engineered at GM's technical facilities in Pontiac and Warren, Michigan, and built at its Brownstown Charter Township battery plant in Michigan. In order to access GM's hydrogen technology, Nikola will have to "pay upfront" for the investment required to produce the equipment, according to a statement from GM.