By James Raia
Here’s an investment adventure for hybrid truck enthusiasts: You can make a deposit of $250 to $5,000 on a hydrogen/electric pickup truck with an estimated range of 600 miles. The caveat: The Nikola Badger doesn’t exist — at least not yet.
Nikola, named after Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer and futurist, announced the Badger in late June.
According to the company based in Phoenix, Ariz., the powertrain has 906 horsepower and 980 lb-ft of torque and can accelerate from 0-to-60 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds. The truck’s full cost ranges between $60,000 and $90,000. It’s touted to have a towing capacity of 8,000 pounds.
Deposits start at $250 for the Nikola “Instinct Package.” It includes $500 off the Badger’s purchase price, a single ticket to the annual Nikola World event in Phoenix, and one entry to win the pickup, according to the company’s website.
Nikola’s $1,000 Predator package offers $2,000 off the purchase price, two tickets to the event and five entries to win the pickup.
The $5,000 Honey package offers $10,000 off the purchase price, two VIP backstage passes to see the Badger up close at Nikola World, and 25 entries to win the pickup.
Trevor Milton, the company’s founder and executive chairman, says deposits are completely refundable.
The vehicle only exists in renderings and is being made to compete with Tesla’s Cybertruck. Nikola details the Badger will have include waterproof displays as well as a customizable backseat and a built-in drinking fountain that filters the water from the fuel-cell power source.
Milton and Tesla founder Elon Musk have exchanged heated social media posts.
According to Nikola, the Badger will be unveiled at Nikola World scheduled for December 3.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.