Elon should be worried.
A couple of months ago we first reported about the latest but still relatively unknown automaker that's aiming to enter the all-electric pickup truck segment. Nikola Motor Company, previously known for developing fuel-cell semi-trucks, is shifting gears slightly with its upcoming battery-electric Badger truck. Unlike its future rivals, namely the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T, Badger buyers will have a choice between either a battery-electric or battery-electric fuel-cell powertrain.
And now, Nikola CEO Trevor Milton has just announced on Twitter the company will begin taking preorders on June 29. Also on this day, the company will announce the date of its next Nikola World event. If this all sounds a bit familiar, then you're not alone. Tesla also puts on big displays announcing new product where the brand faithful are invited to attend.
Milton also specifically announced that those in attendance will have the chance to see the "Badger in person. You'll get to see a real operating truck, not a fake show truck. Expect stamped metal panels, functioning interior w/ hvac, 4x4, etc."
Based on the already announced specs, the Badger sounds like it'll be very impressive. It'll have up to 300 miles of range on battery power alone, though this increases to 600 miles with the fuel-cell setup. Like any electrified vehicle, acceleration will be brisk. Nikola claims a 0-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds. Total output? Try 906 horsepower and 980 lb-ft of torque. Towing capacity will be up to 8,000 pounds and will offer seating for up to five.
The standard battery will be a 160-kWh pack or an optional 120-kW fuel cell. It'll also have a 15-kW power outlet for accessories such as tools and other outdoor equipment. Still not convinced the Badger is the real deal? Nikola claims it's capable of climbing a 50 percent grade without stalling.
Official pricing has yet to be announced but the company did state the truck will be built with the assistance of another automaker, though details of that arrangement are still unclear.
And yes, the name "Nikola" was purposely chosen because it's the first half of a certain someone's name, Nikola Tesla.