Nikola Motors unveils hybrid fuel-cell truck

Nikola Tesla invented the alternating current and was embroiled in a technological war against the direct current inventor Thomas Edison. A new electric vehicle manufacturer is hoping to engage in war against the leader in the industry, both of them using the former inventor’s name. Tesla is king of the hill at the moment, but Nikola Motors wants to compete with slightly different technology.

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Nikola Motors have unveiled a concept for a new electric pickup truck, or bakkie, called the Badger. There will be two versions – one will be fully electric and the other an electric fuel-cell hybrid.

The hybrid will have a secondary hydrogen fuel-cell that adds almost 500km to the range, over and above another 500km range from the all-electric version. Having nearly 1000km of range in a renewable powertrain vehicle could be a game changer.

According to the company, the bakkie will be able to tow about 3.5 tons and be able to accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in under 3 seconds. These numbers puts the Badger firmly in the sights of the Tesla Cybertruck.

Read: Tesla unveils the Cybertruck – a futuristic, electric bakkie

Of course, a major bump in the road to launch such a vehicle is the scarcity of hydrogen fuel cells. While they are starting to become more ubiquitous, they are still few and far between around the world (even in highly populated areas).

The company said that they want to fix this problem, with plans to build 700 hydrogen fuel stations. Presumably the majority of these will be on the American west coast, which is the ideal test location for such a vehicle.

The full details and first production concept of the Badger will be revealed by Nikola Motors at their Nikola World 2020 event in September. They will also start accepting reservations for the Badger at the event.