'Nikola World,' the planned 3-day celebration of all things Nikola, is off.
Early in September, General Motors announced a strategic partnership with zero-emissions vehicle startup Nikola, through which GM would acquire a sizable stake in the Phoenix-based company, in exchange for access to some of GM's engineering and production capabilities.
Things have been... interesting ever since. First, there was a report that came out alleging that Nikola was peddling vaporware - that the startup had effectively duped everyone into believing they'd developed and built working prototypes when they simply hadn't. Then came the unceremonious departure of founder and executive chairman Trevor Milton, followed promptly by his suspicious departure from social media, where he'd established a towering presence.
Now, Nikola has made the call to delay the in-person reveal of its forthcoming Badger electric fuel-cell pickup truck in Arizona, ostensibly over safety concerns.
"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 in a statement. Nikola, which sold tickets to members of the public wanting to attend the Badger's in-person unveiling, said that it will honor those tickets when a new date is announced, or issue refunds to customers who prefer that.
The Nikola Badger, which was aimed squarely at Tesla's Cybertruck and the Rivian R1T, was to be engineered, homologated, and manufactured by GM under the terms of their partnership. Now, though, the signing of an agreement has been delayed, leaving the details up in the air for the time being.
Along with the Badger, Nikola's three-day "Nikola World" event in Arizona was also to be an opportunity for fans and customers to get up close to machines from the company's powersports division. Nikola Badger reservation holders were guaranteed a spot at the event - and really, at $5,000 for a preorder, they'd better be - with a limited number of additional tickets available.
A new date for Nikola World, which was originally set to take place December 3 through 5, is still forthcoming.