Market Overview

The Tesla Cybertruck Has A New Rival, The Nikola Badger

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The Tesla Cybertruck Has A New Rival, The Nikola Badger

Nikola is entering the green pickup game. On Monday, the young automaker unveiled its Hydrogen Badger Pickup to complement its semi fleet.

“Nikola has billions worth of technology in our semi-truck program, so why not build it into a pickup truck?” Nikola founder and CEO Trevor Milton said in a statement.

“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.”

Nikola said it plans to build out a national network of hydrogen fuel stations during its 2021 production of the semis.

Its hybrid vehicle uses both batteries and hydrogen fuel cells so drivers far from hydrogen fuel stations can lean on battery power. The hydrogen fuel cells produce electricity through a chemical reaction that leaves water as the only byproduct.

“The program will help drive down the cost of the fuel-cell components on our semi-truck while accelerating the hydrogen station rollout,” said Nikola President Mark Russell. “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.”

How Nikola Stacks Up

The Badger joins a quickly growing market for alternative energy pickups.

Among the competitors are Tesla Inc's (NASDAQ: TSLA) Cybertruck, Rivian’s R1T, Atlis’s XT, Bollinger’s B2 and Lordstown Motors Corp.’s version of a lithium-ion battery pickup. General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) have also announced electric pickup designs but have provided no details beyond 2021 sales targets.

Nikola’s Badger boasts a number of distinguishing features. Its 906 horsepower far exceeds the 614 of Bollinger’s B2. Its 600 miles of range outruns the R1T’s 300 miles, Lordstown’s 260 and the Cybertruck’s 250. It goes from zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds compared to the Cybertruck’s 6.5 seconds.

And like the Rivian, Atlis and Lordstown models, Nikola’s pickup looks more traditional than Tesla’s Cybertruck, whose boxy, futuristic look is expected by some analysts to turn off classic pickup consumers.

What’s Next

Nikola said it plans demonstrations for the Badger in September but has not reported a production start date. Rivian, Lordstown and Bollinger are set to begin production late this year.

Pricing for the Badger and reservation information has not yet been announced.

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Photo courtesy of Nikola.

 

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