With Tesla's Cybertruck, GMC's reborn Hummer, and the Rivian R1T all in the automotive pipeline, the segment of flamboyant electric pickup trucks that aren't here yet is getting crowded. Well, add one more seat to the table because Nikola Motors just announced the Badger, yet another electric pickup truck with supercar-rivaling acceleration, scarcely believable range, and of course, science fiction-inspired looks.
Separating the Badger from the pack, however, is the fact that it uses both a hydrogen fuel cell and a lithium-ion battery, both of which it can draw energy from simultaneously. On an FCEV/BEV-battery blend, Nikola says the Badger gets 600 miles of range. The truck can also be driven on electric-only mode, relying solely on its 160-kWh battery that apparently provides 300 miles of range on a single charge. As a comparison, Tesla claims that its tri-motor Cybertruck will go over 500 miles without seeing a charger. As with any and all range claims, we'll believe it when we see it.
Other claimed Badger facts? It'll apparently produce 906 peak horsepower (455 continuous hp), 980 pound-feet of torque, and go from zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds. Nikola says it'll boast a towing capacity of over 8,000 pounds, seat five, feature a 15-kilowatt power outlet that can "assist" a construction site for 12 hours without a generator, and operate in temperatures as low as -20 Fahrenheit without taking any significant hits to performance.
Before you go writing this thing off as a science project with a wishlist, Nikola says it will be partnering with a to-be-announced OEM when it comes time to manufacture the Badger. It's also partnered with "Heavy D" from the Diesel Brothers TV show who will lend a hand in the Badger's development as well as give it some cred among the "hardcore truck" community, a group of folks who, we're told, have some pretty strong loyalties.
Prototypes will apparently be shown off at Nikola World 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona, tentatively scheduled for September, where rides will be given to select clientele as well as media.
We wish Nikola luck but before we're gonna go ahead and remain healthily skeptical about this whole thing until we see something concrete...regardless of what some reality TV star has to say.