Nikola Motors launched reservations for the Nikola Badger. The Badger is a pretty smart looking ute, powered by either a fully electric, or fuel-cell powertrain.
The Badger features some impressive specs, with a 0-60MPH time of just 2.9 seconds and up to 600 miles of range. That’s around 965km, but to acheive that, you’d have to opt for the hydrogen version, with the fully electric version of the Badger, capable of just 300 miles, or 482km of range.
While Nikola has ambitious plans to build out the hydrogen infrastructure, the practical reality is, that most people will choose the battery version, due to the lack of refuelling options, compared to an already well-established recharging infrastructure.
The Nikola Badger will be offered in a variety of colours including white, blue and a greenish blue, some of which we seen for the first time today in new renders. There’ll be two different tyre sizes offered, with massive 35″ available for the adventurous types, as well as smaller, more practical tyres for city/freeway driving.
The BEV starts at US$60,000. After a US to AUD conversion and 10% GST added, that’s a starting price of $96,008 before delivery and state taxes. Unfortunately, with most EVs, this would also attract the dreaded Luxury Car Tax, so expect to be over A$100k, by the time the Badger arrives in Australia.
Whatever you think of Hydrogen, Australia is investing in R&D regarding infrastructure for vehicles like the Badger. While not practical today, in the future it could be a reality, and by the time the car is released in 2022, we could be looking at a different situation. If you want the Hydrogen version, the FCEV starts at US$80,000, you’re looking at close to $128,010.30 (US > AUD+10%).
Remember how Mercedes tried the luxury ute in Australia and failed poorly, I am concerned that these prices place the Badger out of reach for even the most enthusiastic fan.
Today fans were asked to lay down a refundable deposit starting at US$250, which included not only a reservation for the Badger, but tickets to the company’s launch event in early December. Nikola World is actually a paid event, unlike product launches which are typically free to attend.
Founder of Nikola Motor, Trevor Milton has committed to racing the Badger against competitors, so it sounds like we’re in for a very different kind of launch.
While we have some photo realistic renders of the Badger’s external design, the internals are fairly basic 3D renders, so this does really take some faith the company can deliver.
While Tesla was able to convince people to buy cars online, sight unseen, this feels a little different. The reservation is not happening a couple of days before the launch, but rather a full 6 months. Given Milton has said the money from reservations isn’t used for production of the vehicles, it begs the question, why would you need to launch now?
One theory is that opening reservations now, allows the company to more accurately scale production. Let’s say 10,000 get reserved in the first week verses 100,000, you’d need to sign a very different production deal with suppliers, based on demand.
I’m actually really excited for the all-electric Jetski known as the Nikola Wave. It’s a product category that I’ve not seen anyone else go after and one that definitely needs electrifying. Today Milton responded to a question on Twitter regarding the price of the Wave, saying it’ll cost low-to mid 20’s.
Best case, if it was US$20k, that means it’d be worth around A$32,002 inc GST. For a crazy Kawasaki Jetski, you’re looking at around A$23k, so again, you’d really have to be willing to pay up for that quiet, crazy performance and yes naturally its way better for the environment.