Today, Nikola Motors unveiled a new electric truck, the Badger. The vehicle is still in the early stages of development, but the company is working on a battery electric version and a hydrogen fuel cell electric configuration that can also recharge its onboard battery from the grid. The Badger will hit the market with a 600 mile (965 km) range and a 0–60 mph time of 2.9 seconds.
The Badger is the result of years of work by the Nikola team, and according to CEO Trevor Milton, it is now ready to hit the market. “Nikola has billions worth of technology in our semi-truck program, so why not build it into a pickup truck?” said Trevor Milton, CEO of 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.”
Electric trucks strike at the core of internal combustion culture. Many owners use the trucks for work and view them primarily as tools that help them get work done each and every day, so reliability reigns supreme. Converting to an electric powertrain used to mean giving up functionality when it comes to range, refueling convenience, and power, but that is no longer the case.
The Badger’s expected 600 mile (965 km) range is more than enough for just about any workday, and with fast recharging times overnight or from any one of a number of public DC fast charging networks, range is no longer an issue. In fact, the massive 160 kWh battery in the Badger brings new functionality to workers with a 15 kW power export outlet that will allow owners to use their truck to provide electricity to power their workday. That’s more than enough juice to run power tools, job lights, compressors, and the like.
UPDATE: Nikola Motors confirmed the Badger would be between $60-90k.
Thank you! $60k-$90k
— Nikola Motor Company (@nikolamotor) February 11, 2020
A High-Performance Beast Of A Work Truck
The performance of the Badger promises to blow the socks off of internal combustion-powered trucks with a staggering 906 peak horsepower (455 HP continuous) and 980 ft·lb of torque. The current list of specs, while only preliminary at this point, are about as impressive as it gets for a truck. The FCEV configuration will be able to operate on grades up to 40% thanks to a unique blend of power from the batteries and the fuel cell.
Check out the full list of yet to be finalized pre-production specs on this puppy:
- 600 miles on blended FCEV / BEV
- 300 miles on BEV alone
- Operates on blended FCEV / BEV or BEV only by touch of a button
- 906 HP peak
- 455 HP continuous
- 980 ft. lbs. of torque
- 160 kWh, flooded module – lithium-ion battery
- 120 kW fuel cell
- Advanced Supercapacitor Launch Assist that blends with lithium ion and fuel-cell
- -20F operating environments without major performance or SOC losses
- Towing capacity of over 8,000 pounds
- Operating targets without motor stalls up to 50% grade
- 15 kW power export outlet
- Compatible with industry standard charging for BEV mode
- Five seats
- Truck dimensions: 5900 mm long x 1850 mm tall x 2160 mm wide a 1560 mm bed width
*Specs may vary according to FCEV or BEV-only mode, temperature, elevation, tires, wheels, software packages, production requirements, hardware and/or regulations.
Introducing The Plug-in Hydrogen Electric Vehicle
The Badger will be available in a battery electric configuration and a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle configuration that opens up some new angles in the transition to hydrogen-powered transportation. The hydrogen fuel cell version will also have the capability to travel around 300 miles (482 km) on a single charge of its onboard battery in what may be the world’s first plug-in hydrogen electric vehicle.
The hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will be able to run as a fully electric vehicle, recharging from the grid like typical battery electric vehicles do today or refueling from a hydrogen station, when available. That gives owners the ability to power the vehicle from either power source or both, but begs the question: if you’re recharging with electricity anyway, why does it also have hydrogen?
The Nikola Badger comes to the market with a design that is very much in the vein of traditional trucks, but with a bit of flair from Nikola that speaks to its futuristic nature. Nikola designed the truck in partnership with Heavy D from the popular TV show the Diesel Brothers.
“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. “Being able to pull back the curtain of a production truck build is a rare opportunity where we can include the everyday truck owner to participate in the final outcome of design, exterior choices and performance specs. I wanted to be part of that story and now I have the opportunity with Nikola.”
As the design moves forward, Heavy D will help build and test the Badger from its current concept phase all the way into production. It’s an appealing angle that is sure to attract millions of views from the show’s mainstream truck enthusiast audience.
In The Future
Nikola is partnering with a yet to be disclosed OEM partner to build the Badger and plans to share more about the manufacturing plan in the near future. It’s likely details will come to light at Nikola World 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona in September, when the Badger is slated to make its first public appearance. At Nikola World 2020, the company will give rides to a handful of early interested customers and the media.
On the hydrogen front, Nikola is planning a massive network of 700 hydrogen fueling stations, with the locations of the first stations being finalized as we speak. Nikola will share the locations of the first few stations this quarter, marking a major milestone for the company and for the broader push into hydrogen transportation. Access to hydrogen fueling stations is one of the first major hurdles to enabling companies and individuals to dive into hydrogen transportation followed closely by a stable supply of hydrogen at scale.
“The Nikola Badger is a game changer. The program will help drive down the cost of the fuel-cell components on our semi-truck while accelerating the hydrogen station rollout. Giving customers the option to order a fuel-cell or battery electric version will ensure we drive the cost down for everyone across our lineup,” said Mark Russell, president of Nikola Corporation.
The company will open up limited reservations later this year, but for now, it has created a landing page at www.nikolamotor.com/badger for interested parties to sign up for more information.