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Nikola scraps event meant to debut Badger electric pickup

The startup cites Arizona's current restrictions on events and mass gatherings due to the pandemic.

Another day.
Nikola Motors

We'll need to wait a little while longer to see the Nikola Badger, the troubled firm's promised electric-hydrogen pickup truck. The startup announced Wednesday it will no longer hold the planned Nikola World event in Arizona, where the Badger was meant to make its debut.

In a release, Nikola cited ongoing coronavirus pandemic restrictions in the state. "Due to COVID-19 audience size restrictions at Arizona's major venues, we have made the decision to reschedule an in-person Nikola World until we can bring the Nikola community together safely," the company said. Nikola will honor current tickets when it announces a new date for the event, or fans can request a refund. 

The startup, embroiled in fraud allegations being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, planned to not only show off its pickup truck, but also some recreational vehicles. The company also teased a surprise or two. That was under now-ex chairman Trevor Milton. The company's founder stepped down last month amid the allegations of fraud. Nikola in the past used a similar event to showcase its One semi truck, which it promised was a fully running prototype. The company admitted last month it was not able to move under its own power, calling into question the firm's long-promised proprietary technology.

The Badger pickup is supposed to combine a fuel-cell and battery-electric powertrain to make 906 peak horsepower and 980 pound-feet of torque. It also promises a 600-mile range. Nikola said General Motors would engineer and build the truck -- as part of a proposed partnership with GM, the automaker will supply its fuel-cell and electric powertrain technologies for the truck. The automaker said on Wednesday, however, it has not closed the partnership.

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