by Gauk
Wed, Feb 12, 2020 2:39 AM

New FCEV (fuel-cell-electric-vehicle) pick-up truck built to outperform the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian pickup's with a near 1000km range.

Nikola Motors is planning to wipe out the competition in the niche electric and petrol pick-up segment, touting a 965km zero-emission range for its upcoming Badger. If all goes to plan for the US manufacturer, the hydrogen-powered Nikola Badger will arrive in late 2021 with crazy performance figures, with a 600-mile (965km) estimated range, a whopping 675kW (906hp) of power and 1330Nm of torque, resulting in a claimed sprint to 100km/h in less than three seconds. This would make the Badger one of the most potent vehicles – let alone pickup trucks available on the market, as fast if not faster than most supercars.

That said, the company states that ‘continuous’ power output is set at 340kW, or around 455hp, with the supercar-rivalling power output offered only in launch mode and for short periods to avoid battery drain. Nevertheless, if those outputs transfer from this concept vehicle into production, the Badger should have enough juice to outpace Rivian’s R1T and Tesla’s Cybertruck, so expect to see a tug-of-war between the Tesla Cybertruck and the Nikola Badger in due course.. An advanced supercapacitor system leverages both lithium-ion and fuel-cell systems simultaneously as part of ‘Launch Assist’.

For the EV tech-heads, the Badger is claimed to offer a 160kWh flooded module lithium-ion battery, with a 120kW fuel-cell with an 8kg hydrogen tank.

Nikola Motors founder and CEO, Trevor Milton, tweeted the news of the start-up car-maker’s impending FCEV/EV pick-up, and said it would ‘take down’ the Ford Ranger Raptor.

“Introducing #Nikolabadger, the most advanced electric and hydrogen pick-up, designed to take down the Ford Raptor,” said Milton. “The Badger will output 906HP, 980ft. lbs., 4×4, torque vectoring, 15kW of power export, with up to 600 miles of range.” He also added that the truck would cost between $US60,000 and $US90,000. 

Towing capacity is claimed at 8000 pounds, which is about 3600kg —  slightly more than the 3.5-tonne benchmark offered by most diesel-powered dual-cab utes in Australia today. But a lot less than Tesla’s wedge-shaped retro Cybertruck ute. Having said that, there’s still no mention of exactly what motor/s will power the five-seat Badger, although Nikola says the 600-mile range is estimated when running a combination of fuel-cell (FCEV) and electric battery (BEV) power. For those without access to hydrogen, Nikola says running the Badger in pure EV mode cuts the range down to just 300 miles (480km).

The Nikola Badger will almost certainly have a few headline-grabbing tricks up its sleeve, like the Rivian ute’s tank turn, thanks to its IWD, or 4×4 independent wheel drive. The big FCEV ute will also be fitted with a 15kW power outlet to charge tools, lights and compressors, “…which is enough power to assist a construction site for approximately 12 hours without a generator,” claims the US commercial vehicle-maker.

Roughly the same size as a dual-cab (supercrew) Ford F-150, the Nikola Badger measures 5890mm long, 2180mm wide and 1870mm high.

Nikola has been working on a range of hydrogen fuel cell-powered semi-trucks in the US, now in partnership with truck giant IVECO, and some of that tech will be put to use in the Badger ute.

“I have been working on this pick-up 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,” added Milton. “This electric truck can be used for work, weekend getaways, towing, off-roading or to hit the ski slopes without performance loss.”

Nikola Motors has bold plans to open 700 hydrogen re-fueling stations in North America to service its impending fleet of hydrogen fuel-cell EVs, or FCEVs, with specific locations yet to be finalised.

Reports suggest the Nikola Badger pick-up will be manufactured alongside another OEM vehicle, with both brands sharing certified parts and manufacturing facilities. It’s not yet clear which manufacturer that will be.

Nikola says the Badger will be unveiled in full in September 2020, followed by production in 2021.

Along with the Badger and its big-rig trucks, Nikola Motors is planning a trio of power toys, including two side-by-side off-road buggies and even a hydrogen-powered jetski.

published by Gauk