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Nikola Badger electric truck reservations open this month

With a fuel cell system onboard as well, the Badger is supposed to go 600 miles.

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Can Nikola compete with Tesla? The Badger sure wants to.

Nikola Motors

The Nikola Badger sprung into the world this past March with some coincidental timing. Tesla had taken the internet by storm with its Cybertruck months prior and GMC teased its Hummer EV pickup during the Super Bowl  a couple weeks before Nikola's announcement.

Yet, the startup, which is largely focused on fuel cell technologies, promises the Badger is the real deal. So real that it's ready to open reservations for the truck this month. Nikola Founder Trevor Milton tweeted Monday the company plans to open reservation books on June 29. Not only will individuals receive their Badger pickups first, but they'll also get their hands on Nikola World 2020 tickets before others. The event will showcase the electric truck later this year.

It's not clear how much buyers will need to drop to stake their place in line for one of Nikola's pickups, nor do we know how much the rig will actually cost. But Milton added in his tweet the truck we'll see this year will be real and totally functioning. Not a "fake show truck," which seems like a jab at the Cybertruck.

Basic specs for the Badger include either a purely electric powertrain or a combination of electric propulsion and a hydrogen fuel cell system. The latter should provide 600 miles of range, though hydrogen fueling infrastructure remains a really big problem. Assuming the specs stay the same for a production pickup, Nikola said the truck will house 906 horsepower and 980 pound-feet of torque. A 0 to 60 mph sprint should take 2.9 seconds and it will supposedly tow 8,000 pounds.

Does Nikola have a shot? I'd say just as much as any other automaker ready to push electric pickup trucks onto the market. EV demand remains very low globally, and even lower in the US. Maybe zero-emission pickups are what the world needs, but we won't know until models like the Badger are a reality.

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