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Nikola Badger reservations open as CEO takes veiled jab at Tesla

Nikola asks for a $5,000 deposit without showing an actual prototype pickup.

Nikola Motors

The Nikola Badger is yet another electric pickup truck challenger eager to do battle in a segment quickly filling up with contenders. Although the startup largely focused on hydrogen-electric semi trucks hasn't shown a prototype Badger, it's ready to open preorders.

The company said Monday it will open preorders today. Anyone interested will need to make a $5,000 deposit that CEO Trevor Milton said is totally refundable. He appeared to take a jab at Tesla and its "fan club" in a tweet announcing the preorders.

A reservation will also grant an individual a ticket to Nikola World, set to take place this December. There, the company plans to share a lot more information about the Badger pickup. However, Nikola still has some incredible specs floating around for the truck.

The plan is to offer the Badger as a purely electric pickup and offer a fuel cell/battery-electric hybrid powertrain. The standard electric powertrain will likely do 300 miles of range, while the hydrogen/electric combo will supposedly go 600 miles. Early specs also tease 906 horsepower and 980 pound-feet of torque, plus a 0-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds.

The Badger already faces some pretty stiff competition between established automakers and other startups. Ford and General Motors each have plans for electric trucks. Startup Rivian looks mighty credible with its R1T, and of course, the Tesla Cybertruck is set for production late next year.

Nikola plans to design and engineer the pickup in house, but the company doesn't plan to build it. Instead, it will work with another automaker to bring the truck to production. We don't know which automaker Nikola has its eyes on, but this partnership will be announced before December, according to the company.

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