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