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Nikola announces Nikola Badger pickup; FCEV/BEV powertrain to support 600-mile range

Nikola Corporation announced the product launch of the Nikola Badger electric pickup truck with an estimated range of 600 miles. The advanced electric pickup will feature a hydrogen fuel-cell and battery powertrain.


The Badger is engineered to deliver 980 lb-ft (1,330 N·m) of torque, 906 peak HP and 455 continuous HP. The Badger will be built in conjunction with another OEM utilizing their certified parts and manufacturing facilities.

The Badger will be outfitted with a 15-kilowatt power outlet for tools, lights and compressors, which is enough power to assist a construction site for approximately 12 hours without a generator.

The Badger was designed to handle 0-100 mph launches with minimal loss of performance and to operate on grades up to 40% through advanced software blending of batteries and fuel-cell. With a fully loaded trailer and combined vehicle weight of 18,000 lbs., the Badger will be able to launch from a standstill on a 30% grade without motor stall.

Nikola Badger estimated specifications:

  • 600 miles on blended FCEV / BEV
  • 300 miles on BEV alone
  • Operates on blended FCEV / BEV or BEV only by touch of a button
  • 160 kWh, flooded module - lithium-ion battery
  • 120 kW 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 more than 8,000 pounds
  • Five seats
  • 5900 mm long x 1850 mm tall x 2160 mm wide a 1560 mm bed width

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.

—Trevor Milton, CEO, Nikola Corporation.

Heavy D, a reality TV star from the “Diesel Brothers,” has partnered with Nikola to design, build and test the Badger in real-world environments, which is anticipated to attract millions of viewers and followers through the process. The partnership will follow the Badger build from concept through production.

The program will help drive down the cost of the fuel-cell components on our semi-truck while accelerating the hydrogen station rollout. Giving customers the option to order a fuel-cell or battery electric version will ensure we drive the cost down for everyone across our lineup.

—Mark Russell, president of Nikola Corporation

The Nikola Badger will make its first appearance at Nikola World 2020 in Phoenix in September. Prototypes will be available for select customers and media to ride in at Nikola World.


Fascinating that this announcement references a combined truck-trailer weight of 18,000 lbs, and then a towing capacity of 8,000 lbs.

Considering that Nikola also mentions 160kWh battery plus 120kW fuel cell, the weight of that truck comes into sharper focus.

If Nicola can get the H2 infrastructure built as they have described, I’d actually have an application for a couple of these, but with 300 mile battery only range , you have to wonder how many people are going to pony up the cash to buy a truck that has the added expense of a FC that will very rarely be called upon to extend range.

Cool mobile generator to be sure. But who buys a generator with that trim level?


This is fantastic as in a total fantasy. If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. I’m surprised it doesn’t mention unicorn power. Ridiculous concept for a (unannounced but obviously sky-high) ridiculous price. Just start with something normal, build experience making it and forget “paper concept vehicles”. We’ll never see this as advertised, even for a million dollars or a million years. Click bait or maybe investment hype for persons who don’t know the market.


After being in a wait and see mode on Nikola for some time I now have zero confidence in them.

They were going to use the very reputable Powercell in their trucks, which have an excellent track record.

They are now claiming that they have some sort of magic battery, with way greater energy density and lower costs.

I don't believe it.

So they end up with some sort of bastard design, using far more batteries than is reasonable or necessary in an FCEV, basically to try to cater for the lack of FCEV infrastructure.

Roger Pham

This Nikola Badger pickup truck is a serious "one-upmanship" from Tesla Cybertruck. Not only does it has a lot of power and probably will have the fastest 0-60 time, but it has the capability of rapid refill in 3 minutes to travel 300 miles, and dual-energy-source security, PLUS dual power plant redundancy, and extended outdoor high power electricity supply of 12 kW, without impacting the trip home... like in the BEV truck when all the energy is drained and can't go home.

However, the battery pack can be reduced to 50 kWh without impacting the truck's mission for those without the need to brag or to show-off, while saving tens of thousands of $ in purchasing cost, plus may be over 1,000 lbs of weight saving that can translate to higher payload. Perhaps the Badger will be offered with different power versions with various battery capacity to satisfy different customers, and may be a pure BEV version as well. Different strokes for different folks!

Now, someone is really getting at what I've always suggested., a serious and no-compromise Plug-in FCV. Now you can have you can have it ALL. A NO-compromise vehicle in all aspects, even in environmental sustainability.


“If Nicola can get the H2 infrastructure built as they have described, ”

They were supposed to have 50 H2 stations installed across the US by the end of 2019. With 0 technological road blocks how did that turn out? I haven’t seen any announcements giving an update on their status. Like the Badger it is probably nothing more than a press release.

The “one upsmanship” on this truck, if it is ever built, will be raising the ceiling on the price of a pickup truck.

But who is going to pay the cost premium of an FC you only need on long trips into the back country with no charging infrastructure (and no H2 dispensers). Or towing long distances, where you have to find both H2 and DC fast charging before proceeding on your way?

What will the price premium be for the FC? $30k? $60k? More?

What are the extra development, tooling and supply chain costs for adding the FC? An extra $500m? 1b? More?

With a 400 mi Rivian on the market and 500 mi Cybertruck on the market, and BEV trucks from Hummer and Ford also likely on the market by the time Nikola ships unit 1, really hard to see who buys the Badger in sufficient quantities to justify development and production costs.

Seems like an enormous distraction for a start-up who already has a lot on their plate.


If the FC is an option it might work and sell.
I and Harvey have long promoted modular battery packs for choice.


Even if this Hollywood Pickup never materializes, it is a good marketing strategy. People do buy $100K Pickups/SUV and Southern California does have quite a lot of H2 stations.
It would be a great strategy for Toyota, too. Build a Toyota Tundra FCEV or better yet the iconic Toyota Land Cruiser FCEV. Toyota could even use off the shelf components like the AC motors from the Lexus 500h AWD with 177 hp, 221 lb-ft, and a combined output, 354hp. Use the RAV4 Prime PHEV battery to give over 30 miles of EV range.
. . . .
BTW Davemart,
Nikola still plans to use Powercell fuel cell, just made by Bosch who partners with Powercell.


"Bosch signs pact with Sweden's Powercell to mass produce fuel cells"

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