Nikola Motor has begun detailing its upcoming EV ute, and also said that it will land in Australia.

US car startup Nikola Motor has announced that its debut ute, the Badger, will be available for preorder in the US this month. It will also go on sale in Australia in the future, the only other confirmed market so far.

On display at the company’s annual Nikola World event this year, the company’s founder Trevor Milton said that attendees would get to see a real, production version of the ute. Speaking via Twitter, he suggested that the company was a step ahead of where Tesla is with its Cybertruck – an electric ute also available to Australians, though with no timing yet.

“Get to see a real operating truck, not a fake show truck” said Milton. He also said it will have stamped metal panels and a functioning interior with ‘hidden fridge’, which was also shown in CAD drawings for the first time.

“Badger pre-production interior CAD. Notice the floor mounting system? It’s throughout the truck and made to secure any loads within the vehicle safely. See quality of everything – waterproof. Hidden Fridge too:),” Milton tweeted.

“We open up reservations for the most badass zero-emission truck on June 29th.”

Addressing obvious competition from Tesla, Milton only said he loved it, though talked about semi-trucks rather than the ute:

“I love the competition! Tesla’s call to mass produce a semi is a good thing to Nikola’s business model no matter what. I hear the their [sic] semi truck weighs 27,000 – 30,000 lbs for long range mile version. Our fuel cell should be 10,000 lbs less.”

The Badger is an electric pick-up truck ute, available with either electric or hydrogen-electric drivetrain. We suspect the former will be the powertrain offered to Australians until hydrogen refuelling infrastructure is built here.

The battery-electric Badger has a claimed driving range of 480km, which balloons to over 900km when equipped with a hydrogen tank and power regeneration system. The output is 667kW peak, with a continuous 335kW on tap, and torque is over 1300Nm, helping the almost-six-metre long ute go from 0-100km/h in under 3.0 seconds. Towing capacity is claimed at over 3.5-tonnes.

The news was well-received on the US stock market, with Nikola Motor’s stock price rising over 100 per cent since listing last week, giving the Arizonian car company a market cap of $41 billion – higher than even the Ford Motor Company.

Nikola Motor expects to deliver the first batch of Badger utes to US customers in 2021, with Australian looking at a possible 2022 launch date. Pricing for the ute in the US has been suggested at around $60,000 to $100,000, which is equivalent to around $80-130k here.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

1 comment

  1. Range?

    Is that based on the usually recommended 80 per cent battery charge and accounting as well for the EV monitoring system blocking discharge under 10 per cent of battery pack energy capacity?

    In other words deduct 30 per cent to get real potential range maximum?

    And weight or load capacity before or after battery pack weight is counted?

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