US-based start-up Nikola Corporation has announced the product launch of its Nikola Badger electric pickup truck/utility vehicle which boasts an estimated range of nearly 1,000 kilometres.
Nikola – a Nevada-based start-up specialising in designing and manufacturing hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicles, energy storage systems, and hydrogen stations – unveiled the Badger on Monday, described as “unlike anything on the market” and “designed to target and exceed every electric or petrol pickup in its class.”
Available most likely in both a blended Fuel-Cell Electric (FCEV) and Battery Electric (BEV), or a BEV only, and boasting an estimated 600-mile (965 km) range in FCEV and 300 miles (482 km) in BEV, the Nikola Badger will feature 980 pound-foot of torque, 906 peak-horsepower and 455 continuous-horsepower.
Nikola is obviously making a play at a class-beating monster, describing the Badger as “designed to handle what a construction company could throw at it and is engineered to outperform all electric pickup trucks on the market in both continuous towing, [horsepower], and range”.
It also says it is designed to handle 0-100 mph launches with minimal loss of performance and to operate on grades up to 40% through advanced software blending of batteries and fuel-cell.
“Nikola has billions worth of technology in our semi-truck program, so why not build it into a pickup truck?” said Trevor Milton, CEO, Nikola Corporation
“I have been working on this pickup program for years and believe the market is now ready for something that can handle a full day’s worth of work without running out of energy.
This electric truck can be used for work, weekend getaways, towing, off-roading or to hit the ski slopes without performance loss. No other electric pickup can operate in these temperatures and conditions.”
Nikola chairman Mark Russell described the Badger as a game changer,” saying the program will help drive down the cost of the fuel-cell components on our semi-truck while accelerating the hydrogen station rollout.
With a 160kWh lithium-ion battery and a 120kW hydrogen fuel cell the five-seat Badger will boast an 8,000 pound towing capacity and the ability to launch from a standstill on a 30% grade without motor stall.
Nikola is also looking to boost the success of the Badger by teaming up with Heavy D, a reality TV star from the show “Diesel Brothers”, who partnered with the company to help design, build, and test the vehicle in real-world environments – and which will, of course, be televised to viewers and followers.
“My audience, hard-core truck enthusiasts, has expected me to push the limits of truck power and capabilities since my beginnings,” said Heavy D, AKA Dave Sparks.
No pricing is yet available, but the Nikola Badger is expected to make its first appearance at Nikola World 2020 in Phoenix later this year, where the company also plans to unveil new battery cell technology with a doubling of capacity and efficiency.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.