The American brand Nikola is dipping its toe into the bakkie market with a fuel cell/battery-powered off-road killer.
The number of electric bakkies promising to hit the market over the next few years continues to rise. Nikola is another manufacturer looking to make its mark.
Nikola is an American company in the business of producing cross-continental hydrogen trucks. Although nothing has yet reached production, the company has already begun pitching a part fuel cell, part electrified bakkie.
The future tech allows for a range of 1 000 km when using blended power from both battery and fuel cell. It can run purely in electric mode, which is still good for close to 500 km on its own if a hydrogen filling station isn’t within reach.
The numbers of the Badger are insane when you conjure up all of its available power in one go. It will push out 675 kW in one hit teamed with 1 320 Nm of torque. It’s not sustainable for a long run but will shoot the bakkie to 96 kph in just 2.9 seconds. The power comes from some hefty batteries on board with a 150 kWh battery pack and a 120 kW fuel cell.
More impressive perhaps is its maximum tow capacity of 8 tons which it claims can be towed up a 30% gradient without the engine stalling.
For those likely to use the Badger for outdoor work can make use of the 15 kW power outlet for powering things like power tools and mini compressors. It can also act as a generator delivering power when there isn’t any.
The Badger double cab is on the large size when compared to our local bakkies measuring in at 5 900 mm long x 1 850 mm tall x 2 160 mm wide a 1 560 mm bed width. That makes it about the same height and width as a Ranger Wildtrak but half a metre longer.
At the moment, this is still a bit of a fantasy production, but Nikola says that it expects a completed version to be ready by September 2020.