By Jeremy J. Zacharias
Nikola Corporation are already one of the most talked about manufacturers in the auto industry, with their stock price soaring last month despite not selling a single vehicle yet. So, why is this Phoenix-based startup gaining so much attention? And does their upcoming hydrogen // BEV truck face a chance against the likes of the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T?
Nikola Corporation (NKLA): Nikola Corporations’ four core values are a window into the company’s future vision.
- Drive Forward: Disrupt and innovate. Constantly pursue progression and improvement. Push yourself and others to think broadly, go further and achieve more.
- Move Fast: Work quickly to get things done. Value simplicity and cut red tape. Take risks and learn from mistakes.
- Work Outward: Safety, quality, integrity, and attitude. Take personal behavior seriously and put the success of the team above your own. Think about how your work affects others.
- Act as Owners: Treat the company and its resources as if they’re your own. Trust other’s capabilities. Understand that as the organization succeeds, you succeed.
According to Nikola’s website and company profile, Nikola operates as an integrated zero-emissions transportation systems provider. It designs and manufactures battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and hydrogen fueling station infrastructure. The company also develops electric vehicle solutions for military and outdoor recreational applications. Nikola Corporation was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
Nikola Corporation is divided into three distinct groups: Nikola Motor Company; Nikola Energy Company; and Nikola Powersports. This article will focus on Nikola Motor Company, which has recently entered into the heavy duty transportation game. Nikola currently plans to make four vehicles, all of which are now in the pre-production phase, including three Semi variants aptly named the Nikola One, Nikola Two and Nikola Tre (yes, that’s how they spell it). The Nikola Badger, the company’s latest offering, is a high performance pickup with impressive specs.
The Badger, with an estimated cost between $60,000 and $90,000 depending on options, boasts a 0-60 time in 2.9 seconds and has a peak horsepower figure of 906 hp. Peak torque is listed as 980 lbs. However, the true headline for the Badger is connected with its expected range. Badger customers will have the option to purchase a battery-electric or joint battery and fuel cell-electric hydrogen-powered truck. The Badger can operate on the fuel cell and battery-electric motor at any time, and the combination of both allows the pickup truck to have a range of 600 miles, which surpasses the expected range of the tri-motor Tesla Cybertruck by 100 miles.
While Nikola Motors is ramping up production on its fleet, the company is also investing in its infrastructure to ready the company to compete in the electric truck wars currently taking place. Nikola recently issued a press release announcing the ground breaking of its Coolidge, Arizona, multi-product factory. https://nikolamotor.com/press_releases/nikola-corporation-breaks-ground-on-coolidge-multi-product-factory-4-0-manufacturing-facility-86. This zero-emissions facility, according to this press release, will have the capacity to produce 35,000 Class 8 commercial semi-trucks annually. The first phase of construction of this facility is scheduled for completion in late 2021, with the second phase projected to be complete 12-18 months thereafter. The U.S.-based facility will initially produce the Nikola Tre and Nikola Two.
With the much anticipated Tesla Cybertruck gaining in traction and popularity, the Badger will stand out with its increased range and immense power. The Badger, if the company can successfully pull off the production of this pickup truck within the time expected, is a true contender to other highly anticipated electric pickup trucks, such as the Tesla Cybertruck, Rivian R1T, Bollinger Motors B2, Lordstown Motors Endurance, Ford F-150, and the revised Hummer EV pickup.
With the electric truck wars ramping up, one thing is clear: the future of the electric truck market is an exciting one providing consumers with plenty of great options. Nikola Motors, with its multi-million dollar investment into the electric truck market, has fired a warning shot into the EV industry letting its competition know that it is ready for a fight. Time will tell who will win the electric truck war, but it will surely be interesting to see how things will play out in the end.