Over the past six years, Nikola Corp. grew from a Salt Lake City startup into a Phoenix-based maker of all-electric big rigs — with a cryptic pledge late last year to debut “game-changing” battery technology in 2020.
This week, the company added another noteworthy item to the agenda for its Nikola World event this fall: its first-ever passenger vehicle. Nikola issued some renderings of the new pickup, known as the Badger, and vowed that it would meet and exceed every rival pickup — electric or otherwise — in its class.
The Badger will be built in partnership with a to-be-announced automaker — complete with its parts and in its manufacturing plants — but it will be available in both battery-electric and fuel cell-electric versions. The fuel cell hybrid version, Nikola said, would be able to travel up to 600 miles between charges with no emissions — provided the driver has access to hydrogen fuel. In the event that the neighborhood hydrogen station isn’t close — or with the battery version — the Badger would offer a more conventional 300 miles of range.
The truck would feature 906 peak horsepower, 980 foot-pounds of torque and more than 8,000 pounds of towing capacity — and could run at temperatures of minus-20 degrees Fahrenheit. Officials said it can also go zero to 60 in less than three seconds, accelerate to 100 mph with minimal power loss and operate on grades of up to 40%, while a 15-kilowatt outlet would provide power to tools, lights, compressors and other construction-site equipment for about 12 hours.
The company said limited reservations would be available this year. Like other high-end electric vehicles, however, this one will cost you: anywhere from $60,000 to $90,000 depending on the drivetrain, according to founder and CEO Trevor Milton.