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Niligence – What’s Missing from the Nikola-GM Brouhaha

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by guest blogger Stan Thompson

New Testament, Book of Matthew, Chapter 7, verse 3:  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

This familiar passage is quoted not because scripture proves anything about GM, Nikola or pundit journalism but because—in Western culture—it’s probably the most quoted metaphor for what’s going on just now. Pundits are all over General Motors like ants on a dropped lollypop for not having come up to their approved standards of diligence, “appropriate” versus “due.”

But GM’s critics omit a much more profound body of relevant information than overlooked video peccadilloes.

In partnering with Nikola, GM’s main consideration must be that the truck industry has bought into Trevor Milton’s viewpoint en masse.  At least for long-haul trucking, battery bunnies are road kill on the hydrogen highway. Here are a few reflecting signs pointing to the H2 onramp:

Plug Power Launches Heavy Duty ProGen Hydrogen Engine for On-Road Applications

Cummins joins push for hydrogen fuel-cell semis with demonstrator

Taken out of context, Hyundai’s classy Neptune HDC-6 concept tractor could be made to seem Pinocchioid.

About the time the Nikola came to light, another pioneering match—Alstom of Paris and Hydrogenics of Mississauga, Ontario—announced the sale of forty Coradia iLint hydrail regional trains in Germany. China Railway Rolling-stock Corporation announced hydrail about the same time and very soon Siemens, Hyundai Rotem, Stadler and others all announced hydrail trains.

There’s a trend here, if you have to be told.

Pundits, in not mentioning the pivot of the whole truck industry in the same hydrogen direction Nikola had turned, left readers with the absurd impression that GM might have made a different decision, had they suspected an early video might have been fudged.  By not highlighting the all-important truck industry pivot to hydrogen, pundits not only failed to perform “due diligence” or “appropriate diligence” but chose a look-the-other-way squat-option: “niligence.”

Fair disclosure:  I own a few shares of NKLA stock.

The post Niligence – What’s Missing from the Nikola-GM Brouhaha first appeared on Hydrogen Cars Now.


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