by Jerry ElengicalMay 04, 2021
Nikola Corporation has revealed the world’s first hydrogen and battery electric powered pickup truck, the Nikola Badger. For all the car aficionados, looking for a more sustainable way to traverse, the Badger’s design concept provides a seamless solution in its groovy, virile aesthetic. Joining the bandwagon of electric vehicles, the likes of Tesla Cybertruck, Ford F-150 and Rivian R1T, the Badger also claims to be the world’s most advanced zero emission Fuel-Cell Electric (FCEV) and Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV). Giving its competitors a formidable contest, the Nikola Badger can cover an estimated 600-mile range, or 300 miles on battery alone (for those who do not have access to hydrogen). If all of that is not impressive enough, Nikola is also planning to create 700 hydrogen fuel stations across North America.
Nikola is known for their zero-emission, lightweight semi-trucks, such as the Nikola Tre, and is venturing into the arena of pickup trucks with the Badger. The visuals released by Nikola Corporation show the tough exterior of the Nikola Badger clad in a silver and black paintjob, with sleek headlights upfront and LED lights above each tyre. The truck is conceived to be released in two versions – a battery operated and the other offering a hybrid of both battery and hydrogen fuel cell setup. Hydrogen and electric fueled vehicles today ensure heavy duty, fast fueling, longer range cover, less weight, instant torque, more horsepower and of course, zero emissions.
The CEO of Nikola Corporation, Trevor Milton, said since Nikola has billions worth of technology in their semi-truck program, they thought of moving further by building 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,” said Milton.
Adding on to its technical virtues, the hydrogen/ electric pickup truck can go from 0-60 mph in roughly 2.9 seconds, and can operate on FCEV or BEV mode at any point. It is also engineered to produce over 906 horsepower and 980 ft. lbs. of torque. Reservations for the Nikola Badger have already started on their official website, and the truck is expected to debut in September, at Nikola World 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona, United States.
“The Nikola Badger is a game changer. 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,” said Mark Russell, president of Nikola Corporation.
If you remember Frodo Baggin’s glowing blue elven sword from the Lord of the Rings series, the five-seater seems to take a leaf out of the iconic fantasy imagery, with its insides illuminated in a mix of organic blue and black, along with other added lights running within and outside its body. It also employs blue touchscreen displays inside, one at the back of the steering wheel and the other overlooking the gear box. The Badger’s form recalls what a truck should look like, and its functionality elevates it further.
Dave Sparks, also known as Heavy D, has partnered with Nikola to conceptualise, design, build and test the Badger in actual scenarios, roping in viewers from across the globe. He is popularly known as the reality star from the Diesel Brothers. “My audience, hard-core truck enthusiasts, has expected me to push the limits of truck power and capabilities since my beginnings,” shares Heavy D. “Being able to pull back the curtain of a production truck build is a rare opportunity where we can include the everyday truck owner to participate in the final outcome of design, exterior choices and performance specs. I wanted to be part of that story and now I have the opportunity with Nikola.”
The Nikola Badger, despite the cost and complexities surrounding hydrogen fueled vehicles, has an edge as being fueled by hydrogen makes it lighter and faster, along with quicker fuel recharge at hydrogen stations. “The electric pickup is designed to handle what a construction company could throw at it and is engineered to outperform all electric pickup trucks on the market in both continuous towing, HP and range. The Badger will be fitted 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,” stated the official release.
Nikola Badger Estimated Specifications:
- Operates on blended FCEV / BEV or BEV only by touch of a button
- 906 HP peak
- 455 HP continuous
- 160 kWh, flooded module - lithium-ion battery
- 120 kW 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
- 15 kW power export outlet
- Truck dimensions: 5900 mm long x 1850 mm tall x 2160 mm wide a 1560 mm bed width
Tell us in the comments below, what you think of the Nikola Badger’s design, and of leading automobile companies migrating from motor fueled vehicles to more sustainable options.