Shares of Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ:NKLA) (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.
Here's the tweet from Nikola founder Trevor Milton that had investors excited when the markets opened on Monday.
Breaking: Nikola World 2020 (Badger World) to be announced Monday, June 29th. Badger reservations open same day. Deposit holders will have dibs on tickets for #nikolaworld2020 Phoenix, AZ. The Badger will dominate ICE trucks live. Be there to see it $NKLA https://t.co/VfRevYYrIt— Trevor Milton (@nikolatrevor) June 8, 2020
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.
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 (NASDAQ:TSLA) and its much-hyped Cybertruck.
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.