The electric pickup truck war is slowly becoming a very diverse field of combatants, and with GMC confirming that the Hummer brand will return on a EV pickup truck, Nikola Motors has confirmed that it too will be entering the segment, with the company unveiling the all new Badger concept truck.
While we don’t expect the Badger to fight the Hummer head to head, the company is clearly setting its sights on Tesla and its controversial Cybertruck. Nikola is typically known for their electric semi trucks, and it has had prior history with Tesla in regards to competing in the commercial truck segment. Unlike the wedge shaped Tesla, the Badger is more traditionally styled, and embodies a more traditional pickup shape. The front fascia has an aggressive face, and is nicely accented by elegantly aggressive headlights and intergrated lights in the grille.
The side profile reminds us of some sportier truck offerings, and it leads out into the bed area which again eschews the Cybertruck’s sci fi approach, and instead goes for a traditionally honed design with curved LED taillights that nicely contrast things back there. The rear bumper even features intergrated exhaust tips which helps it look more conventional then some of its peers.
The interior is currently in rendering form, but there’s no denying that Nikola has plans to infuse massive amounts of technology into the cabin. A big vibrant screen dominates the center stack, while gray and black accents provide an eye catching color scheme for the eye to latch onto. Nikola’s trademark blue accents also waft their way through select elements of the interior, and it looks like there is even a traditional floor mounted shifter for rowing through the gears.
When compared with the Cybertruck, the Badger does have some distinct advantages over the Tesla, especially in the way that some of the controls are laid out, as well as the design itself. We will have to see how the transfer from rendering to real life works out, but based on what we have seen so far, it appears that Nikola is off to a good start.
Performance for the Badger will come in two distinct flavors, with a base battery only model, and an up-level variant that will use both a battery and a hydrogen fuel cell to spice up performance somewhat. The combined setup is projected to have 600 miles of range, while the pure BEV achieves a still respectable 300 miles of driving range according to Nikola’s estimates. But the Badger is no mere compliance mobile, with Nikola claiming that the range topping Badger is capable of up to 906 horsepower, as well as a 2.9 second sprint to 60 mph. This is wickedly fast performance, though as is the case with other EV pickups, we are very eager to see how the Badger performs doing truck stuff like hauling cargo, towing, and even family hauling duties with the latter rapidly becoming more important over the past few years. We have highlighted the bulk of these statistics in the handy chart below which really shows the sheer potential that the Badger has if the bulk of these traits make the transition to the production.
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
Truck dimensions: 5900 mm long x 1850 mm tall x 2160 mm wide a 1560 mm bed width
Pricing information was not released with this announcement, but Nikola did reveal that the Badger will make its first appearance in the flesh at Nikola World 2020 which is scheduled to formally take place in September. The lone weakness with hydrogen is that refueling coverage outside of California is very small, but Nikola is planning to build over 700 hydrogen fueling stations to help expand the fueling network and give hydrogen true nationwide coverage. Nikola also revealed that the production Badger will be built in conjunction with another OEM to utilize their parts and manufacturing facilities. This would be a big boost to Nikola in terms of saving production costs, and it also makes us wonder who the mystery OEM is? In the meantime we have posted the video Tim produced earlier today on the Badger which can be seen below.