• The Nikola Badger Pickup Offers Something The Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T Can’t

Fuel-cell powertrain and a water fountain in the truck that will provide drinking water for the driver!

Nikola pickup truck’s story is one that you will enjoy telling your grandkids someday. When the Cybertruck was unveiled, Nikola’s CEO, Trevor Milton, took a dig at Tesla and offered Elon Musk its unused truck design for free that looked a lot more conventional than the unorthodox Cybertruck. Although the company had no intention to enter the market. However, Nikola has thrown its hat in the segment with the very same design. Called the Badger, the truck is almost the same size as the Tesla Cybertruck.

Fast forward to the present day and you have Nikola kicking Tesla’s ass with all sorts of new features that the latter can only dream about. Nikola’s CEO tweeted that the Badger will come with a water fountain! You read the right. The water drained out from the Badger’s hydrogen system will be used to provide the driver with pure drinking water.

“Water? Hydrogen? What Are You Guys Talking About?”

If you have this question in mind, let me inform you that the Nikola Badger will be offered with two different powertrains. One will be powered by battery only, and the other one will draw power from hydrogen fuel cells along with a battery pack.

The latter will feature a 17.6-pound hydrogen tank. Many people wanted to know what happens to the water that comes out of the system, so Milton said that it will be used to fill up the windshield water tank and also to provide drinking water.

Milton tweeted: "Getting questions about what we do with all the water coming out of our hydrogen trucks. Well, we will use most of it for our windshield washer fluid and then some for pure driver drinking water. Yes you heard that right, we will have a drinking fountain in our truck". He further added that "using the hydrogen bi product water for the drivers to have nice cold, clean pure drinking water. The rest is re-used at our facility when they arrive for H2 production recycling."

Is It Safe To Drink?

The Nikola Badger Pickup Offers Something The Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T Can't Exterior
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There were concerns about the cleanliness and purity of the water, but Milton said the water can be easily filtered and cleaned.

This was a genuine doubt, considering that Toyota tested the Mirai and its hydrogen powertrain for the same and concluded that the water was safe to drink, but not recommended. This was because there could be traces of organisms like E.coli in the water depending on where the vehicle was driven. Milton is yet to touch base on this issue.

However, he did say that the system has "heater elements on during use and auto drain when you shut the vehicle off if freezing or chance of freezing." This means there will be no problem with the water freezing in extreme temperatures. Quite cool, isn’t it?

Fisker Has A Similar Idea, Too

2022 Fisker Ocean Exterior
- image 879069

Fisker came up with a similar idea for its upcoming Ocean SUV. The Ocean doesn’t feature a frunk, which is surprising for an EV. However, Fisker has made use of the space underneath by equipping a portable water tank. Fisker has also equipped an outlet tap for the same that peeps out next to the license plate.

What Do We Know About The Nikola Badger So Far?

The Nikola Badger Pickup Offers Something The Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T Can't Exterior
- image 885901
  • Roughly the same size as the Tesla Cybertruck
  • 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds
  • The powertrain is rated at 455 “continuous” horsepower, but peaks at 905 horses and 980 pound-feet of torque
  • Independent motor setup
  • Towing capacity is rated at 8,000 pounds
  • It will be equipped with a power outlet that can be used to run plug-in tools and can last for 12 hours without an external generator
  • It will feature a digital instrument cluster, huge touchscreen infotainment system, etc.
  • Will be offered in two variants: pure battery and battery-fuel cells
  • Pure battery will offer 300 miles of range
  • Battery-fuel cell combination will have a range of 600 miles
  • 17.6-pound hydrogen tank
  • Nikola plans to install 700 Hydrogen filling stations across North America
Nikola Badger vs Tesla Cybertruck dimensions
Nikola Badger Tesla Cybertruck
Length 232.28 inches 231.7 inches
Height 72.83 inches 75 inches
Width 85.03 inches 79.8 inches
Truck bed 61.41 inches wide 78 inches wide

Final Thoughts

The truck is all set to be unveiled at the Nikola World 2020 event which is scheduled for December 3. The Badger is available for pre-order starting June 29, 2020. People who pre-order the Badger will receive a ticket to the Nikola World 2020 event and also a discount off the vehicle purchase. All the preorders will also qualify for a chance to win a Badger at the event.

Nikola Badger specifications
0-60 MPH 2.9 Seconds
Peak HP 906
Continuous HP 455
Peak Torque 980 Ft. LBS
Range 600 Miles
Battery 300 Miles
Fuel Cell 300 Miles
Hydrogen 8 kg
Fuel Cell 120 kW
Towing Capacity 8,000 LBS
Drivetrain 4x4 Independent Wheel Drive (IWD)
Dimensions 5890mm L x 2180mm W x 1870mm T

Source: Car Buzz

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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