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Why Nikola Stock Is Surging Today

By John Rosevear – Updated Jun 8, 2020 at 2:56PM

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A new electric pickup to challenge Tesla's Cybertruck is on the way.

What happened

Shares of Nikola Corporation (NKLA -9.39%) (NASDAQ: VTIQ) were surging on Monday, after the company's founder and chairman said that it will begin taking reservations for a new electric pickup truck in late June. 

As of 2:30 p.m. EDT today, Nikola's shares were up about 63% from Friday's closing price.

So what

Here's the tweet from Nikola founder Trevor Milton that had investors excited when the markets opened on Monday. 

For much of its existence, Nikola has focused on electric Class 8 heavy trucks (tractor-trailers), but the company has also said that it has an electric pickup -- the Badger -- under development. But until Milton's tweet, most investors assumed that the Badger was a "someday" product, not a "someday soon" product.

A silver Nikola Badger pickup.

Nikola's Badger is an electric pickup truck with both a fuel cell and a battery pack. Image source: Nikola.

So what is it? In a presentation to analysts in April, Nikola said that the Badger will have both a battery pack and a hydrogen fuel cell, which together will give it up to 600 miles of range. The truck will be able to operate in a "blended" mode, drawing power from both the fuel cell and the battery pack, or on batteries alone. 

On paper, at least, the Badger is a promising product. While it may not steal significant market share from the Detroit truck giants, it could prove to be a headache for Tesla (TSLA -6.81%) and its much-hyped Cybertruck. 

Now what

The Badger will draw on technologies developed for Nikola's heavy trucks, adding production scale to (presumably) lower costs. But unlike the big rigs, which Nikola plans to build in its own factory starting next year, the company has said that it plans to find an automaker partner to build the Badger. 

Who might that be? Auto investors will have to wait a few more weeks to find out.

John Rosevear has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Nikola Corporation Stock Quote
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