Anyone considering the Nikola Badger alternative?

Coast2Coast

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That's an interesting question - whether or not GM will back out.

I don't think GM expected to gain much on the technology side. It likely saw Nikola as another brand in its portfolio and as another platform to use GM battery and fuel cell technologies. GM would get to leverage its know-how and capabilities over a wider scale and scope of products.

But Nikola's brand is damaged. How long will the damage last? That depends on what the SEC and law suits brought by private investors find. That could take months, even years.

My guess is GM will be able to back out of its investment in Nikola, if it wants to.
 

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That's an interesting question - whether or not GM will back out.

I don't think GM expected to gain much on the technology side. It likely saw Nikola as another brand in its portfolio and as another platform to use GM battery and fuel cell technologies. GM would get to leverage its know-how and capabilities over a wider scale and scope of products.

But Nikola's brand is damaged. How long will the damage last? That depends on what the SEC and law suits brought by private investors find. That could take months, even years.

My guess is GM will be able to back out of its investment in Nikola, if it wants to.
GM has no investment in Nikola. Nikola would be basically nothing but a customer of GMs if they decide to sign the deal.
 

ohmman

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I have very little interest in FCEVs, as they are an extremely complicated and wasteful solution to something that BEVs have already mostly accomplished. Industry uses something like 10MM tons of hydrogen annually, a small fraction of which is supplied by electrolysis. If there is to be more formation of hydrogen by electrolysis, it should replace steam reformed hydrogen that's being used for industry first before being used for personal transportation.
 

Coast2Coast

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GM has agreed to buy 11% of Nikola's shares, a publicly listed company, for $2 billion. That's an investment.

Nikola has neither proven battery, fuel cell and hydrogen tech nor engineering & production capabilities of its own. GM's investment comes with a seat on Nikola's board, and Nikola's future is now tied to GM's (as long as GM carries through with the agreement).
 

thrill

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The operating premise, from Nikola at least, is that a financial event occurs around 500 miles of range where a fuel cell becomes cost attractive vice a battery. If that is accurate, and if that would remain accurate in the future as batteries become better, is of course the financial guess. If H2 is a better option for longer range use then the methods of production will likely continues to improve also, meaning it now might become more attractive for other uses, such as storage of excess solar and wind power during the day for tapping at night, etc. This is the world Nikola says it's targeting, and whether a CEO that thrives on exaggeration is leading that charge or not doesn't change the value of investigating that technology's potential (whether positive or negative).
 

ohmman

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If H2 is a better option for longer range use then the methods of production will likely continues to improve also, meaning it now might become more attractive for other uses, such as storage of excess solar and wind power during the day for tapping at night, etc.
Again, we have a huge demand for hydrogen already, which dwarfs anything the transportation industry might need in the next decade, and it hasn't improved the method of production. Using hydrogen as storage for curtailment may be an eventual use, but that hydrogen should supplant "dirty" hydrogen being used in industry now. Once we start approaching hydrogen surplus, I'll be on board with fuel cell use for long haul trucking or other edge cases. Until then, I remain unconvinced personally.

Happy to end up being wrong about this, though!
 

Coast2Coast

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Gaining $2 billion in stock, whether paid for in cash or cash equivalents, is an investment (from GM's point of view). GM gets 11% of Nikola's shares, a board seat, and GM controls all of the design, engineering and manufacturing decisions and capabilities.

Nikola's future is in GM's hands. From Nikola's perspective, you can call it a purchase agreement, if you want, but it's a purchase agreement that controls your destiny as a company, assuming GM goes through with it.
 

jjwolf120

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Gaining $2 billion in stock, whether paid for in cash or cash equivalents, is an investment (from GM's point of view).
They didn't pay for with cash or cash equivalents. As of now, they can walk away from the deal with no direct consequences. They will receive the stock for providing engineering for design and manufacturing of the Badger.
 

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Gaining $2 billion in stock, whether paid for in cash or cash equivalents, is an investment (from GM's point of view). GM gets 11% of Nikola's shares, a board seat, and GM controls all of the design, engineering and manufacturing decisions and capabilities.

Nikola's future is in GM's hands. From Nikola's perspective, you can call it a purchase agreement, if you want, but it's a purchase agreement that controls your destiny as a company, assuming GM goes through with it.
GM is offering $2M of "services in kind" for manufacturing etc., not investing cash or a cash equivalent.
 

ajdelange

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Suppose I have a tenth of a hectare of solar cells. On a sunny day around noon 1 MWh falls on that array. With 20% conversion efficiency 200 kWh comes out the electrical connection which 200 kWh goes off to some load where it is converted to heat. Total heat input to the earth is 1 MWh. Now suppose I only need 10 kW at some time of day. My microinverters will pull back so that instead of being 20% efficient the array is now only 1% efficient. One percent of the impinging MW gets converted to electricity and 99% gets converted to heat. Total heat input to earth is 1 MW.

Now suppose the guy next door comes over and says "Hey it looks as if you have lots of excess power sometimes. Do you want to sell it? I'll give you 4¢/kWh. That would give me $7.92 an hour income that I don't have if I don't sell. So he puts on his 190 kW load and the microinverters go up to 20% array efficiency.

Of course what the guy next door is doing is running electrolyzers. Lets say that of the 190 kW he is taking from me half gets converted to heat but the rest gets stored in hydrogen gas. Eventually that hydrogen will be burned in an IC engine or fuel cell and that energy returned to heat. Net input to earth 1 MW. Thus it doesn't matter how efficient or "wasteful" the whole shebang is. 1 MW falls to earth. 1 MW gets, eventually, dissipated as heat. The success or failure of our combined enterprise turns on one thing and that is whether he can sell the hydrogen he produces for more than the $7.92 he paid me plus overhead expenses. If he can its a success story.

Milton has calculated that if he can buy electricity for 4¢ a kW hour he can make a profit producing hydrogen. The question is, of course, whether the utilities will sell it to him at this price.

I don't expect this to convince anyone of anything but at least people should understand the man's argument.
 

skyote

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Milton has calculated that if he can buy electricity for 4¢ a kW hour he can make a profit producing hydrogen. The question is, of course, whether the utilities will sell it to him at this price.
Possibly in the short term due to the use of traditional generation facilities, where there is normally surplus energy. However, I think this will change drastically within the next 10 years due to economics of renewables in combination with grid storage. It's the grid storage piece that will negate the issue with demand peaks & the need for surplus energy; right now, you have to keep generation producing more energy that needed to ensure you can meet peak demand, because it takes hours to bring additional generation online.

There is already a business case for battery-based grid storage, look at the data from Tesla-powered Hornsdale Power Reserve. And those grid scale economics will only improve over time.
 

ajdelange

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There is already a business case for battery-based grid storage, look at the data from Tesla-powered Hornsdale Power Reserve. And those grid scale economics will only improve over time.
Yes there is. And how does a business such as this one make money? By selling electricity! Use the analogy of me and my back yard. If I can make a profit by selling electricity at 4¢/kWh (IOW if my operating expenses plus the amortization on the cells and inverters are less than 4¢ a kW hour) I can make a profit by installing more cells and perhaps storage knowing that I have a market for the extra that my additional cells collect with my neighbor even though I am selling at just above wholesale rates. I am sure this has been considered in forming Nikola's business plan. But please take note that I am not confident in Milton's analysis to the extent that I have bought any of his stock.
 
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