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Wabco acquires stake in Nikola Motor Company in deal that will accelerate development of safety tech

Trucking OEM upstart Nikola Motor Company got an infusion of trucking technology knowhow and cash Wednesday through a $10 million investment from Wabco Holdings Inc.

As part of the deal, in which Wabco receives a 1 percent equity stake in Nikola Motor Company, the two companies agreed to accelerate development of safety technologies specifically designed for electric commercial vehicles, including electronic braking systems and traction and stability control technologies.

Wabco Chairman and CEO Jacques Esculier says the investment in Nikola allows the company to be at the forefront of technology as vehicles become increasingly autonomous, electric and connected.

Video: 360-view of the new electric Class 8 Nikola One tractor

A 360-degree look at the new Nikola One, a hydrogen-electric powered Class 8 tractor that touts 1,000-hp and zero tailpipe emissions.

“We are excited to invest in Nikola Motor Company to help the industry realize our joint vision of electrified and autonomous trucks, buses, trailers and off-highway vehicles,” he says.

Nikola Founder and CEO Trevor Milton says Wabco will be a vital business partner that enables autonomous driving, electronic braking, and stability control for trucks and trailers.

“Here at Nikola, we are driving a paradigm shift in the transportation industry by creating the most advanced semi-truck ever built,” he says. “Wabco is recognized as a global leader in safety and efficiency technologies for next-generation commercial vehicles. We have added a world-class supplier to the Nikola truck family and are looking forward to our collaboration to bring Nikola’s zero emission trucks to market.”

Nikola expects to begin testing its zero emission trucks with fleets late next year and launch full production in 2021.

Test drive: the Nikola Zero UTV that will give rise to the Nikola One tractor

Over the course of the day, we averaged about 740 Watt Hours per mile and used a total 34 kWh – about 33 percent of ...

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Jason Cannon is the Equipment Editor for Commercial Carrier Journal and Overdrive, and is a Class A CDL holder. Reach him at jasoncannon@randallreilly.com.