Nikola Motors, better known for its electric fuel-cell semi-trucks, is today unveiling a concept for a new electric pickup with a battery/fuel-cell hybrid powertrain enabling 600 miles of range, 0-60 mph acceleration in 2.9 seconds, and more.

The Arizona-based company is planning to use battery packs in its larger hydrogen semi trucks and all-electric powertrains in its smaller and shorter-distance trucks.

After announcing their plans for trucks in 2015, the startup started expanding its portfolio with electric UTVs, watercraft, and more.

Now they are also expanding to electric pickup trucks and unveiled the Nikola Badger today.

Trevor Milton, CEO, Nikola Corporation, commented on the announcement:

Nikola has billions worth of technology in our semi-truck program, so why not build it into a pickup truck? 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. 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.

They listed the following specs for the Nikola Badger

  • 600 miles on blended FCEV/BEV
  • 300 miles on BEV alone
  • Operates on blended FCEV/BEV or BEV only by touch of a button
  • 906HP peak
  • 455HP continuous
  • 980 ft. lbs. of torque
  • 160kWh, flooded module — lithium-ion battery
  • 120kW 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
  • 15kW power export outlet
  • Compatible with industry standard charging for BEV mode
  • Five seats
  • Truck dimensions: 5,900mm long x 1,850mm tall x 2,160mm wide and a 1,560mm bed width

They claim a hybrid battery/fuel cell powertrain that can operate independently for 300 miles of battery-only range and 300 miles of fuel cell range.

While they are announcing specs, they are not unveiling a prototype just yet. They are only showing some concept images:

The company says that the vehicle will be fully unveiled at their Nikola World 2020 event in September. They will start to take reservations at that time.

Electrek’s Take

As usual, I’d take all of this with a big grain of salt. I use to be a fan of Nikola when they bought a startup and built a UTV, but they have since lost me.

First off, their patent trolling lawsuit against Tesla is just ridiculous, and the fact that they think it’s a good idea to pursue that shows bad character and weakness.

Secondly, Nikola first announced plans for a hybrid electric and natural gas semi truck four years ago.

They later changed their plans to hybrid battery-electric and fuel cell hydrogen trucks with plans for a massive hydrogen supply chain and fueling station network.

As we previously stated, hydrogen fuel cells are about 3x less efficient than battery-electric in the best-case scenario. It mostly serves to preserve the same supply chain model as fossil fuels.

Later, Tesla unveiled its all-electric semi-truck that showed battery-electric class 8 vehicles were viable, and it changed many people’s perspectives.

At the time, Nikola Motors mocked Tesla’s effort, arguing that they couldn’t achieve the range that they were claiming on battery-electric only, but they have now unveiled supposedly battery-only semi-trucks.

Now they are doing pickups, too? That’s like five different products now without having brought anything to market.

I know they managed to raise over $1 billion, but even with that money, I am very skeptical about them being able to successfully bring any of those products to production.

They seem to be too all over the place.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

If you have any good insight into Nikola Motors that you want to share, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at fred@electrek.co

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