With all the recent and rapidly developing news surrounding Nikola, the embattled firm has revealed the world debut of the production Badger pickup has been delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The firm made this announcement Wednesday, with the company claiming its Nikola World event has been postponed, In this case, company representatives claimed that it was due to ongoing COVID related policies in Arizona (where it planned to host it,) especially in regards to the size of crowds at large venues.
“Due to COVID-19 audience size restrictions at Arizona’s major venues, we have made the decision to reschedule an in-person Nikola World until we can bring the Nikola community together safely,” the company said buried at the bottom of a press release on its strategy and vision.
Nikola also revealed that it will be announcing a new date soon, and when it does, the company will honor old tickets for the event once a replacement date is announced. For fans that prefer a more immediate solution, the company will also provide a full refund to those that ask for it.
This latest development is just the latest twist in a proverbial rollercoaster that the troubled company has been riding for the past few months, after allegations of fraud emerged following the announcement of a tentative partnership with General Motors. The allegations caught the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is currently looking into the matter.
This latest iteration of Nikola World was seen as a make it or break it event for the company, with Nikola not only unveiling the production version of the Badger but also several other offerings, including what it called “a surprise or two.”
Of course, it’s important to remember that these claims were made by now ex-CEO Trevor Milton who resigned shortly after the allegations of fraud (and subsequent claims of sexual assault) first emerged.
It was also under Milton’s watch that the Nikola One prototype semi-truck was first unveiled at the prior Nikola World event. The firm promised that it was a fully functional showcase of its futuristic hydrogen technology, but that was later proven to be false, with the company admitting that it could not move under its own power, with the footage of it moving actually being achieved by rolling the unpowered rig down a gently sloping hill.
As for the Badger, the pickup was supposed to be the spearhead for the company’s mass-market plans, with the model combining an electric powertrain with advanced fuel cell technology to produce 906 horsepower and 980 pound-feet of torque. Nikola originally promised that the hydrogen side of the coin would feature its own in-house sourced hydrogen fuel cells, but it now appears that this too was false, with a clause in its proposed partnership with GM revealing that the Badger would not only be equipped with GM’s Ultium battery technology but also the latest iteration of the company’s hydrotec fuel cells.
The exterior styling of the Badger (at least in concept form) certainly wowed observers with the Badger having a balanced mixture of rugged functionalism and sleek sci-fi inspired lines.
General Motors for its part has not formally signed the partnership agreement with Nikola and is even rumored to be re-evaluating select elements of the deal. However, many in the industry see the fate of this proposed partnership as a key aspect of Nikola’s future, with the upstart firm’s stock price potentially entering a terminal free fall if the deal sours. This would follow up an already dramatic drop that occurred after the fraud allegations were first made public.
We still look forward to seeing the production Badger when it eventually does appear. Unlike the wedge shaped Tesla Cybertruck and the rather bland Lordstown Endurance pickup, the Badger is seen as a balance of both extremes, and renderings of the interior appeared to show that it would be ahead of the game in infotainment technology.