General Motors has announced a revised agreement with Nikola Corp on a fuel-cell partnership, superseding the previous agreement from September which was for the Nikola Badger fuel-cell pick-up truck to be developed and manufactured by GM.

The revised deal means that GM will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola, and instead is a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) that is valid until the end of 2021 and is subject to negotiation, Reuters reports. Development of the Badger has been ‘paused indefinitely’, Nikola officials were quoted as saying.

The MoU is for a global supply agreement to provide Nikola with the Hydrotec fuel cell system for the start-up firm’s Class 7 and 8 commercial trucks, and the two companies are discussing Nikola’s possible use of GM’s Ultium battery system in the former’s commercial trailers. The new deal focuses on the fuel-cell side of the business where they see the greatest potential, Nikola officials said.

The original deal in September was called into question following a short seller’s allegations of fraud, which Nikola has denied. With production plans for the Badger on hold, Nikola said it will refund all previously submitted order deposits for the fuel-cell pick-up truck as the model’s roll-out depends on a partnership with a manufacturer, a role that General Motors has withdrawn from.

Nikola Badger concept

“Heavy trucks remain our core business and we are 100% focused on hitting our development milestones to bring clean hydrogen and battery-electric commercial trucks to market,” Nikola CEO Mark Russell said in a statement.

The Badger FCEV was unveiled as a five-seater full-sized truck, measuring 5,900 mm long, 1,850 mm tall, 2,160 mm wide and with a cargo bed length of 1,560 mm. The Badger’s fuel-cell powertrain was claimed to offer 906 peak horsepower or 455 continous horsepower, with a claimed torque output of 1,329 Nm.

This was said to enable the Badger to perform standstill launches with a fully loaded trailer and with a combined vehicle weight of more than 8,100 kg on a 30% incline without stalling the electric motor. combined with a supercapacitor and a lithium-ion battery pack, the Badger FCEV had a claimed range of 965 km.

The Badger was also to be available as a battery-electric vehicle, where a 160 kWh lithium-ion flooded module battery pack would offer 480 km of range. Other features included a 15 kW power outlet for tools, lights and compressors, which Nikola says is enough to assist a construction site for approximately 12 hours without using a traditional generator.

GALLERY: Nikola Badger