Electric startup Nikola recently teased us with its newest Badger pickup truck. Yes, the Badger is powered by electricity courtesy of an innovative hydrogen fuel cell. Besides that, Nikola is giving the Badger its own set of battery packs for all-electric propulsion. In essence, the Badger can operate on fuel cells (FCEV mode), battery mode, or by combining both in BEV mode.
Because it has two power sources, the Badger achieves a phenomenal range
True to form, Nikola’s Badger is unlike any truck you’ll ever see. Utilizing the combined efforts of hydrogen fuel cells and conventional battery packs, the Badger can achieve a theoretical range of 600 miles. On the other hand, the truck is good for 300 miles of range using pure battery power alone.
The Badger is equipped with a 120 kW fuel cell and a refillable tank to convert hydrogen into electrical power. However, the truck also has a 160 kWh auxiliary battery pack like a conventional electric car. Nikola reckons it’ll be big enough to power the Badger on its own without consuming a drop of hydrogen.
“Nikola has billions worth of technology in our semi-truck program, so why not build it into a pickup truck?” said Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola Corporation. “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.”
For those who don’t know, Nikola Motor Company is based in Phoenix, Arizona. The company is considered a pioneer in both pure electric and hydrogen-electric powertrains. The company was initially focused on heavy-duty applications like big rigs and sleeper semi-trucks.
Nikola currently has three fully-electric and hydrogen semi-trucks in its stable, and the Badger is a natural evolution of Nikola’s unique technology.
The Badger is a true workhorse
According to Nikola, the Badger is conceived to outperform all-electric pickup trucks and SUVs in terms of range, horsepower, and continuous towing. Also, the Badger is ‘charging’ head-on with the upcoming Rivian R1T, electric Ford F-150, and the recently announced GMC Hummer EV. Evidently, Tesla’s newest Cybertruck and Bollinger should also pay attention.
However, the Badger has more aces up its sleeve.
For starters, it churns out 906 peak horsepower and 980 pound-feet of torque. Also, the Badger can deliver 455 continuous horsepower for heavy-duty towing. Equipped with a fully-loaded trailer (for a combined vehicle weight of 18,000 lbs.), the Badger can launch from a standstill on a 30-percent gradient without experiencing motor stall.
“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,” added Milton.
Also, the truck is equipped with a 15-kilowatt outlet to power your electric construction tools, compressors, and lights on the job site. In fact, 15 kilowatts are enough to power an entire construction site for 12 hours without using a diesel generator.
It may be a truck, but it’s quick off the line
What else can you expect from a bloody hi-tech pickup truck with 906 horsepower and 980 pound-feet of torque? If the Badger can scamper fully-loaded over a 30-percent gradient, we can only imagine what it can do over level roads.
Of course, Nicola has the answer. The new Badger pickup truck accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9-seconds – almost just as fast as the 2020 BMW M8 and is faster than a 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. It does it by an advanced Supercapacitor Launch Assist system by combining the outputs from the fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries.
Nikola’s Badger is upping the stakes in the all-electric pickup race. “The Badger is a game-changer,” said Mark Russell, president of Nikola Corporation. “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.”
While Tesla, Rivian, and GMC are currently working overtime to produce a flawless product, it’s worth keeping an eye out on the Badger with its amazing dual-propulsion system.