General Motors pulls pin on highly-anticipated Tesla Cybertruck rival
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A much-hyped rival to the Tesla Cybertruck has been thrown on the scrap heap.
Upstart electric vehicle company Nikola has been forced to axe its Badger electric ute. The Badger joins other failed EVs such as the Fisker Karma, Dyson EV and Faraday Future.
The American style electric pick-up truck was the brand’s headline grabbing vehicle. The vehicle was supposed to be revealed in full this month and was believed to be offered with both electric and hydrogen powered versions.
Nikola claimed some impressive power figures for the zero-emissions pick-up, with the electric motors producing a mighty 667kW and more than 1300Nm.
Production was due to start soon thanks to a deal signed with automotive giant General Motors earlier this year.
Under the deal GM would supply batteries, hydrogen fuel cell tech, a pick-up platform and build the Badger in one of its factories for an 11 per cent stake in Nikola.
But GM has now withdrawn from the deal and the company will no longer take a stake in Nikola.
Instead, the two have signed a memorandum of understanding — which isn’t legally binding but more of an understanding that a future contract is on the way — on a scaled back deal.
Under the revised deal Nikola will use GM’s fuel cell technology in its planned range of zero-emissions trucks.
Nikola said the Badger was always dependent on a partnership with a car maker and its core business is electric trucks and semis.
The company will also refund all deposits taken on the Badger.
Much like Tesla, Nikola has known its fair share of controversy. After launching on the US stock market this year its value almost tripped within days.
This led to suspicion from financial analysts, with one short seller accusing the brand of fraud, ending with the company founder Trevor Milton being ousted in September.
Despite the axing of the Badger, there are several electric workhorses still in development, for zero-emissions fans to get excited about.
Ford is in advanced stages of developing its electric F-150 truck, which is most likely due to hit the road in 2022.
And American start-up Rivian is getting closer to bringing its R1T to market. Rivian has some big time backers including Amazon and Ford.
The good news for Aussie tradies is the Rivian ute is expected to be sold in Australia.
The Rivian R1T will be available in two versions with 135kWh or 180kWh battery packs, with respective theoretical range of 500km and 640km.
All are all-wheel drive — electric motors power each wheel, with torque vectoring to ensure optimum grip.
Tesla also has committed to selling the Cybertruck down under, when it becomes available.