Nikola Motor Company, a startup automaker that has shown a 1,000-hp hydrogen-fuelled electric semi-truck, has now shown off a pickup. The Nikola Badger is a fuel cell or battery-powered pickup that will hit 100 km/h in under three seconds and make more than 900 hp.
The high-tech pickup is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that can run for extended periods on battery power alone. The company says that a massive 160 kWh battery pack gives the truck enough juice to run for just under 500 km. Add in a tank of hydrogen for the fuel cell to convert to electricity, and the total range becomes nearly 1,000 km, with the driver able to toggle between EV and FCEV on demand. A hydrogen fuel cell allows quick gas-like fill-up times, at which point the Badger could drive another 500 km without plugging in.
Electric motors deliver up to 906 hp and 980 lb-ft of torque, with a continuous max power level of 455 hp. Nikola says that the Badger was designed to handle 0-160 km/h launches with "minimal loss of performance" and be able to set off from grades as steep as 40 percent. The company is targeting pushing that to 50 percent by launch, which is a grade you'd have a tough time climbing yourself.
For towing, Nikola says that the Badger will be able to haul up to 8,000 lbs and that with a combined truck and trailer weight it can still launch on a 30 percent grade without the motors stalling.
“Nikola has billions worth of technology in our semi-truck program, so why not build it into a pickup truck?” said 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."
At 5,900 mm long and 2,150 mm wide, the Badger will be about the size of a conventional full-size pickup. It can be charged from standard EV chargers, and will have a 15 kW power plug to let you run electric accessories when camping or at a worksite.
Nikola is taking reservations for the truck now, and it's set to be revealed in person at the company's Nikola World 2020 event later this year. Recognizing that hydrogen can be tough to find, the company says it plans to build a network of filling stations, starting with around 700 locations. Nikola also says that the truck will launch a partnership with another OEM, using that company's parts and manufacturing facilities, though it hasn't yet named the other automaker.
With Tesla's Cybertruck and Rivian's R1T electric pickup trucks getting people excited, it will be interesting to see how EV fans will react to the Nikola Badger.