Nikola unveils its 675kW Badger pickup

By: Daniel Wong

Hydrogen-electric truck firm in for a piece of the electric ute pie

Nikola unveils its 675kW Badger pickup
The Badger would meet users' outdoor and towing needs, Nikola says


American truck company Nikola has revealed its first entrant into the zero-emissions pick-up ring, the Nikola Badger.

According to Nikola, the Badger is designed to accommodate either a 120kW hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain or a pure 160kWh battery-electric system. Both systems are said to deliver a claimed peak power output of over 675kW, 339kW of continuous power, and 1329Nm of torque.

While these figures land the Badger in between Rivian’s 522kW/1120Nm R1T and General Motors’ 746kW/15,592Nm Hummer, Nikola claims that its pick-up will be proficient at tackling off-road challenges and meeting the outdoor and towing needs of truck owners.

Some of the Badger’s operational targets include climbing grades of up to 50 per cent without motor stalls, launching from a 30 per cent grade without stalling, deliver a towing capacity of more than 3630kg, and be able to operate in -29°C environments without major performance or battery charge losses.

The Badger will also be outfitted with 15kW power outlets for tools and lights, which Nikola claims would be enough to "assist a construction site for approximately 12 hours without a generator".

How Nikola gained a huge CNH cash injection, here

On top of that, the Badger will still do the scintillating electric performance times, with a 0-96km/h time of "approximately 2.9 seconds", which is close to Tesla’s Cybertruck in its range-topping tri-motor form, and able to handle 0-160km/h launches with "minimal loss of performance".

As for range, with the hydrogen-electric hybrid powertrain Nikola claims the Badger would have an operating range of 965km, while the pure battery-electric spec would be only able to achieve 480km of range.

"Nikola has billions worth of technology in our semi-truck program, so why not build it into a pickup truck?" says 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."

According to Nikola, the Badger would be built in conjunction with another OEM, though the party in question has yet to be revealed, as is its projected production date. The Badger is set to make its first public appearance at Nikola World 2020 in September.

Founded in 2014, the Nikola Motor Company started out developing all-electric utility vehicles and semi-trucks. The company later moved on to developing hydrogen-powered semi-trucks and has recently unveiled an all-electric and hydrogen-powered truck for the European market that will be built in partnership with Italian truck maker, Iveco.


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