Nikola is taking $5,000 pre-orders for electric truck it hasn’t fully shown yet

The Nikola Badger has only been shown to the public as a handful of renderings, but the company is taking $5,000 pre-orders for the electric pickup truck. Nikola plans to fully reveal the truck at its Nikola World 2020 event December 3-5.

Nikola has shown prototype hydrogen fuel-cell semi trucks, ATVs, and a jet ski, in addition to the Badger. But it hasn’t delivered a single product yet.

Order books opened June 29 at 11:00 a.m. EDT, and pre-orders received before November 15 will receive a match of the $5,000 deposit, according to a Nikola press release. All pre-orders are entered for a chance to win a Badger, and reservation holders get a ticket to the event Nikola World 2020 event.

In addition to the Badger reveal, said event will include a party for reservation holders, a live concert, and limited ride-along opportunities. It seems Nikola has taken a page from a certain other company named after Nikola Tesla.

The original tease of Nikola’s truck in late 2019 was a jab at Elon Musk and the Cybertruck design. Nikola CEO Trevor Milton chided the Tesla truck’s unusual shape, offering the more conventionally styled Badger design for Tesla to “borrow.”

Nikola Badger

Nikola Badger

Since then, No prototype has been shown—only renderings, plus three new shots released this week that might be photos.

The company has also released some specifications for the Badger, which will use both a battery pack and hydrogen fuel cells. The truck will have 300 miles of range on battery power, and up to 600 miles of range using both power sources, according to Nikola. The company is building a network of hydrogen stations for planned long-haul semi trucks that could also support Badger drivers on longer trips.

Nikola said the Badger will have over 906 horsepower and 908 pound-feet of torque, allowing for 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds—a figure that’s more sports car than pickup truck.

CEO Milton has said Nikola will partner with an established automaker on production. Nikola is targeting a 2022 launch, but hasn’t selected—or announced—its automaker partner yet.

Milton has gone to great lengths previous to emphasize that Nikola won’t use deposit money for company operations, as he accused Tesla of doing. So why so much, so far in advance?

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