Nikola Corporation has finally revealed its first mainstream commercial vehicle concept, the Badger. The full-sized pick-up truck will be available as a hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) or battery electric vehicle (BEV), two technologies which Nikola claims to specialise in.

The numbers are more realistic compared to, say, the Tesla Cybertruck, and it looks properly functional as a pick-up truck too, if we can be honest. Now, Nikola says the Badger is designed to outperform every petrol and electric pick-up on the market in terms of continuous towing and range, and will offer 906 peak horsepower or 455 continuous horsepower. The claimed torque figure is 1,329 Nm.

Apparently, it’s also designed to handle 0-100 mph (0-160 km/h) launches with minimal loss of performance, and would operate on grades up to 40% through advanced “software blending” of batteries and fuel-cell. With a fully loaded trailer and a combined vehicle weight of over 8,100 kg, the Badger can perform standstill launches on a 30% grade without stalling the electric motor.

The Badger will sprint from 0-60 mph (0-97km/h) in 2.9 seconds!

Now, the Badger BEV offers up to 480 km of range on a full charge, provided by a 160 kWh lithium-ion battery (flooded module) pack that’s mounted under the floor. The Badger FCEV on the other hand, works with an advanced supercapacitor and a lithium-ion pack, which give a combined range of 965 km. The rated towing capacity is up to 8,000 lbs, or 3,629 kg, but this will vary depending on the chosen variant.

Nikola says the FCEV model is able to operate in fuel-cell or battery mode with a touch of a button, and the powertrain has an output rating of 120 kW. More importantly, company founder and CEO Trevor Milton said the Badger can be used for work, weekend getaways, towing, off-roading or even hit the ski slopes without performance loss at up to -29 Celsius. “No other electric pickup can operate in these temperatures and conditions,” he said.

Other notable features include a 15 kW power outlet for tools, lights and compressors, which Nikola says is enough to assist a construction site for approximately 12 hours without using a traditional generator.

As a daily vehicle, the five-seater pick-up is also rather spacious, based on the given dimensions. It measures 5,900 mm in overall length, 1,850 mm tall, 2,160 mm wide, and has a bed length of 1,560 mm. That puts the Badger comparable in size against the Ford F-150 SuperCab (twin cab) and Chevrolet Silverado. Based on the interior sketch above, the cockpit will predominantly feature digital displays, including a huge iPad Pro-sized centre screen. The side mirrors are replaced with cameras, too.

Nikola president Mark Russel said: “The Nikola Badger is a game changer. The programme will help drive down the cost of the fuel-cell components on our semi-truck while accelerating the hydrogen station rollout. Giving customers the option to order a fuel-cell or battery electric version will ensure we drive the cost down for everyone across our lineup.”

To support the sale of its Badger FCEV, Nikola plans to open 700 hydrogen stations across the North American market, the locations of which will be finalised and announced by the end of this quarter. A prototype of the Badger will be displayed at the Nikola World 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Journalists and prospective customers will also be given a test ride at the event. Nikola says production of the Badger will be outsourced to another OEM using their parts and manufacturing facilities.