Automotive

Nikola's Cybertruck-eating Badger has batteries, supercap and hydrogen

Nikola's Cybertruck-eating Bad...
Nikola Motors is making big promises for its upcoming Badger pickup truck
Nikola Motors is making big promises for its upcoming Badger pickup truck
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Supercar-beating sprint times and an 8,000-lb towing capacity
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Supercar-beating sprint times and an 8,000-lb towing capacity
The design is a whole lot more conservative than the Tesla Cybertruck
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The design is a whole lot more conservative than the Tesla Cybertruck
Nikola Motors is making big promises for its upcoming Badger pickup truck
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Nikola Motors is making big promises for its upcoming Badger pickup truck
A supercapacitor provides massive burst power when required
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A supercapacitor provides massive burst power when required
Interior renders
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Interior renders
A hydrogen fuel cell doubles the Badger's 300-mile battery-only range
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A hydrogen fuel cell doubles the Badger's 300-mile battery-only range
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As well as designing and manufacturing this triple-powerplant consumer truck, Nikola is looking at building some 700 hydrogen supply stations across the USA
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As well as designing and manufacturing this triple-powerplant consumer truck, Nikola is looking at building some 700 hydrogen supply stations across the USA
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Nikola Motors has made some big promises for its upcoming Badger pickup truck, including a Cybertruck-beating 600-mile range, 2.9-second 0-60 mph (0/98 km/h) sprint time and 980 lb-ft (1,329 Nm) of torque. Plus, they're getting a guy called Heavy D to test it.

While Nikola's core business is in great big semi-trailers, it has shown an interest in consumer products before, with its monster electric side-by-side and an electric jet ski. Making an electric pickup truck, though, is a big leap. Getting something like this into production, as the other half of this company's namesake can attest, is no joke.

What's more, the Badger's spec sheet seems tailor-made to take on Tesla's Cybertruck, beating it on power and range without looking like a third-grade origami project. The Badger promises 906 peak all-wheel-drive horsepower, the aforementioned giant motherlode of torque, a 50 percent gradient capability, a 15-kilowatt power outlet for tools and toys, and a towing capacity of 8,000 lb (3,629 kg). Its feisty sprint time is thanks to a supercapacitor system that allows it to deliver bulk power in bursts, as well as presumably recovering a lot under braking.

Supercar-beating sprint times and an 8,000-lb towing capacity
Supercar-beating sprint times and an 8,000-lb towing capacity

And of course, it offers 100 more miles of range than the Cybertruck can deliver, thanks to something Tesla doesn't touch: hydrogen. The Badger will rock an 8 kg tank of liquid hydrogen as well as a 160 kWh, 300-mile battery pack. That tank, combined with a 120 kW fuel cell, will keep the battery topped up longer in places where hydrogen is available.

Doubtless you've noticed, there's not a heck of a lot of places where it is available right now, and Nikola says it's planning to address that, too. Where Tesla went out early on infrastructure, building Supercharger networks as it moved into new markets, Nikola says it's planning 700 hydrogen stations around North America.

So that's one pickup truck, three power systems (battery, supercapacitor, hydrogen) and 700 hydrogen stations. Is Nikola biting off more than it can chew? Maybe not. The company says it's handling manufacturing via a partnership with a larger, as-yet unnamed OEM, "using their certified parts and manufacturing facilities."

A hydrogen fuel cell doubles the Badger's 300-mile battery-only range
A hydrogen fuel cell doubles the Badger's 300-mile battery-only range

It certainly looks a lot more like what you'd expect of a big ol' American pickup than Elon's vastly weird Cybertruck, and in order to give it a bit of street cred with the backwards-baseball-cap crew, Nikola has partnered with Diesel Brothers reality TV personality "Heavy D" to "design, build and test" the Badger, documenting the whole process for TV.

So the whole thing will be a circus from start to finish? We wait with bated breath.

Source: Nikola Motors

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5 comments
LiamC
So basically it is a potential Bomb on wheels with 3 times as many failing points and more than likely 3 times the cost of a Tesla Cybertruck. Another concept vehicle not yet even at prototype stage making big claims. At least when Elon Musk presented the Cybertruck, people could actually get in one and drive it, and it's indicated price is relatively affordable - This thing will cost a fortune. Bang-for-buck it still wouldn't beat the Cybertruck!
paul314
Except for the macho aspect, pickups are a perfect market segment for electric. The ones that actually get used for work typically don't need a lot of range, but they do like low-end torque. And they tend to spend a lot of time where big amps are readily available.
Username
I'm getting a slight impression that the author does not like the look of the Cybertruck. I, on the contrary, think it's wonderful. I'll add that hydrogen is ridiculous for cars and the choice Nicola for the company's name is childish.
ljaques
H-cars are no more or less dangerous than the 1 billion gas fueled vehicles on the road today, so turn off the fear. I like the dual-fuel potential of this truck and bet that the 15kW of outlets really talks to contractors. Let's see if they can come anywhere near as low as the Tesla truck's price and go from there. I think the Nikola designers took pictures from all recent manufacturers and stole from each one to get that conglomeration. It's not necessarily bad, but sure is different.
Roanoke
This author seems to give a lot more credit to this "theoretical" truck, talking up these untested specs against Tesla's ACTUAL truck that works now.
Nothing seems concrete or substantial about Nikola's "truck" here except that it looks just like Rivian's truck.

Nikola can't touch Tesla. If they could, this would be a review about an actual truck they HAVE built, rather then just what-ifs.

This was a biased article in my opinion, that seems to compare this company as if it was on the same level as Tesla (stock price pushing $1,000 /share). Not even close.