Nikola Badger electric pickup makes a comeback in the most hilarious way


The Nikola Badger electric pickup, one of the biggest blunders in the history of the EV space, is making a comeback in the most hilarious way: through a Youtuber friend of convicted felon Trevor Milton.

There have been blunders in the EV spaces over the years, and GM has been involved with a few of them.

Arguably, the Nikola Badger is one of the biggest ones because it helped push Nikola Motors’ market cap to a ridiculous $20 billion before getting completely wiped out.

Shortly after Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck, Nikola announced its plans for the Badger with a battery/fuel-cell hybrid powertrain enabling 600 miles of range, 0-60 mph acceleration in 2.9 seconds, and released a few renders.

Like most things Nikola, we didn’t take the project too seriously, but a few months later, GM was announced as a partner in the Badger program.

However, the partnership didn’t last long as Nikola and its CEO at the time, Trevor Milton, were exposed for misleading investors about many aspects of their business, especially the technology in its battery and hydrogen semi trucks.

Milton left the company and was later convicted for fraud. Nikola settled for $125 million with the SEC for the allegations of misleading investors.

GM finally realized who they were in business with and terminated their partnership for the Badger program, which Nikola ended killing to focus on its semi trucks amid all the controversy and its stock crashing from a $20 billion valuation to a less than $1 billion valuation.

The Nikola Badger is back

Now, David Sparks, better known as Heavy D Sparks on Youtube and on his Discovery show Diesel Brothers, is bringing the Badger back.

In a new video, Sparks announced that he bought the vehicle program and intellectual property for the Nikola Badger, NZT (electric UTV), and Waverunner (electric watercraft) with plans to bring the vehicles to the market:

When he was still in charge of Nikola, Milton hired the Diesel Brothers to promote the Badger. They were giving what could have been an extremely lucrative deal if the vehicle had become a reality.

They stand to get 2 million shares for promoting the truck, which was worth as much as $140 million at the peak valuation of the company.

At the time, it was not only a potentially lucrative deal for the Diesel Brothers, but it was also good for them to be associated with a zero-emission vehicle as they had recently been fined $850,000 by a Federal Judge who determined they had violated the Clean Air Act on hundreds of occasions.

In the video announcing that the “Badger is real”, Sparks describes Milton as a “longtime friend” and starts out by defending him and questioning the prosecution in his fraud case despite the mountain of evidence that he misled shareholders.

He then claims that over the last 3 years, he and his partner Cole Cannon have been working with Nikola to acquire the Badger program, and they finally were able to close the deal worth “tens of millions”. According to Sparks, Nikola is a “minority partner” in the new company they are creating to continue the Badger program.

The deal came with the only two prototypes that were produced. Sparks claimed that the trucks are mostly custom-made by Nikola, though it is still only a battery-electric vehicle and not a full fuel cell-battery hybrid powertrain.

He didn’t go into detail about his plan to bring the vehicle to market, but he said that everything is going to be documented on his YouTube channel.

Electrek’s Take

This gave me a good laugh today. Who is going to trust this guy to bring the Badger to market after he claims that Milton did nothing wrong? It’s quite funny.

Also, one thing that isn’t clear in this whole thing is Milton’s involvement. I wouldn’t be surprised if we find that he is involved. After all, Milton is still trying to gain control over Nikola and tried to get 5 people elected to Nikola’s board, including Sparks himself, who said that he wanted to bring back the entrepreneurial spirit (aka lying) of the Milton era to Nikola if he was elected.

To be honest, I was more excited about the fact that he also acquired the electric UTV property, which I always thought was Nikola’s best product even though it was built mainly by Bosch, but he said that he won’t touch the UTV for now because he has a deal with Polaris.

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