Fuel cell commercial truck developer Nikola has announced that it plans to join the growing market for zero-emission pickups/utes by announcing the launch of a pickup it will call the Badger.
The startup, based in Pheonix Arizona, says the pickup will be able to operate on power from its hydrogen fuel cell or batteries, or as a blend. It will be built through a partnership with an unnamed vehicle manufacturer. The companies will detail their plans at a Nikola conference in September.
“Nikola has billions worth of technology in our semi-truck program, so why not build it into a pickup ?” said Trevor Milton, Nikola’s. CEO.
“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.”
Milton is claiming some impressive specifications for the truck. It said the Badger can generate more than 906 horsepower and 980 pound-feet of torque. It will have an estimated 600-mile range.
The electric Bader will accelerate from 0 to 100kph in approximately 2.9 seconds.
The truck’s hybrid drive will allow it to travel 550km off the battery for those who aren’t near a hydrogen filling station.
But Nikola is attempting to address that issue, both for its heavy-duty trucks and light vehicles. It said it plans to build 700 hydrogen stations to give North America hydrogen coverage. Milton plans to announce the locations in the coming months.
Milton said in a news release that the Badger will handle 0-160 km/h launches with minimal loss of performance. He said it will operate on grades up to 40 per cent through advanced software blending of batteries and fuel-cell.
With a fully loaded trailer and combined vehicle weight of 8000kg, Nikola claims the Badger will be able to launch from a standstill on a 30 per cent grade without motor stall, he said.
The company already is taking reservations for the Badger .
Nikola is joining a rapidly growing market for electric-drive pickup trucks and SUVs.
General Motors said last month that it will relaunch its behemoth Hummer as an all-electric pickup truck under its GMC brand. Like Nikola’s Badger, it will have some impressive numbers and goes on sale in September 2021.
Just the week before Ford announced it is working with electric truck developer Rivian to launch a Lincoln branded electric luxury SUV.
Rivian, a Michigan based start-up will also build its own vehicles. It plans to start production of the R1T electric pickup at a former Mitsubishi auto factory in Illinois later this year . It also plans to build the R1S SUV. Both will start at about $US70,000. Like GMC with the Hummer, Rivian is pitching the pair as adventure vehicles.
Tesla recently introduced Cybertruck . It uses an ultra-hard, cold-rolled stainless exoskeleton instead of a traditional body on frame construction. Tesla said it will start deliveries in late 2021. The base model starts at $US39,900. The mid-range dual motor model is $US49,900 and the tri-motor begins at $US69,900.
Bollinger Motors plans to start selling $US125,000 boxy, Hummer-inspired battery-electric B1 SUVs and B2 pickup trucks also aimed at the adventure crowd.