Electric Truck News Roundup: Hummer 2.0, Nikola Badger Tesla Celebrates Cybertruck Windows and More

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By Nick Kurczewski

If you can't beat them, join them. And if you happen to bash in your own truck windows in the process, well, create a T-shirt celebrating that achievement. The world of electric trucks is getting more varied and daring, with a growing list of companies looking to cash in on truck sales and the ongoing push toward electrification.

One of the most significant is GM, which confirmed the once-maligned Hummer brand will return as a fully electric pickup truck. It's a full U-turn for Hummer, from being gas-guzzling monster mobile to a zero-emission green machine (though one that will undoubtedly lean toward the hefty side).

Related: GMC Hummer EV Pickup: It's Real, Y'All

Upstart electric truck companies like Rivian and Bollinger have been busy preparing for the future by bagging funding and patenting technology. Meanwhile, Tesla is keeping a sense of humor regarding its window-crunching debut of the Cybertruck pickup. Keep reading to get caught up about everything in the electric truck world.

Hummer Has a Gentle Side

During our last electric truck news round-up, we speculated that GM could bring back its defunct Hummer brand as an entirely electric-powered range of vehicles. Well, consider the news official.

Hummer was once the darling of anyone who wanted a look-at-me SUV and didn't mind fuel mileage that only oil tycoons love. Big, brash and unapologetic, short of deciding to commute in a tank, choosing a Hummer meant being as far as humanly possible from an eco-friendly vehicle.

Lo and behold, Hummer is getting reinvented and is coming back as an electric truck. It's a stunning turnaround and a potential feel-good marketing angle.

Hummer will be a separate model, though not a stand-alone brand like it was until GM, ahem, pulled the plug on Hummer in 2010. Instead, the rough-and-tumble Hummer EV will be sold alongside GMC trucks. The next-generation Hummer will arrive by 2022.

Nikola Badger Pickup: Big on Promises and Power

The Nikola Badger is an electric pickup with a twist, thanks to its hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain. The Arizona-based Nikola Corp. has a reputation for making big boasts related to the development of some very big trucks. Until now, the upstart electric and fuel-cell company seemed content targeting full-size rigs, the kind with 18 wheels and a massive trailer mounted at the rear.

With the Badger pickup truck, Nikola is aiming at upcoming rivals like the Tesla Cybertruck, Rivian R1T pickup, Bollinger B2 and electrified versions of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ford F-150. Nikola says maximum output for the Badger will be 906 peak horsepower (455 continuous hp) and 980 pounds-feet of torque. This is good enough to propel the Badger from 0-to-60 mph in 2.9 seconds while allowing for a total towing capacity of 8,000 pounds. Electric range is 300 miles on electric power, though this jumps to 600 miles when you add in the extra range provided by the hydrogen fuel cell.

No price has been announced either. There's also the not-so-insignificant matter of the lack of a hydrogen refueling infrastructure. But hey, little problems like these haven't slowed Nikola down before (Nikola says it's planning to develop 700 hydrogen refueling stations).

Rivian Pads Its Bank Account

As 2019 came to an end, Rivian scored a significant round of funding. Based in Plymouth, Mich., the upstart electric truck firm's approximately $1.3 billion of new investment was spearheaded by the mutual fund company of T. Rowe Price. During the past 12 months, Rivian has scored hundreds of millions of dollars from industry heavyweights such as Ford Motor Co. and Amazon.

These are not simply injections of fast cash, either. The Ford tie-in includes plans to allow the American auto giant to use Rivian's skateboard-style chassis in its own range of electric trucks and SUVs. The first result will most likely be a luxury SUV for the Lincoln brand. Amazon has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian. Production of these vans at Rivian's factory in Normal, Ill., is expected to begin sometime in 2021.

As for the R1S SUV and R1T pickup, each carries a starting price of about $70,000 and they're expected to arrive later this year. The base model has a range of 230 miles, though higher trims with larger battery packs promise a driving range of 400 miles. Maximum towing capacity for the R1T is 11,000 pounds, and the truck is expected to need only 3.0 seconds to sprint from 0-to-60 mph.

Bollinger Visits the Patent Office

Bollinger Motors must be feeling pretty good about itself, because the fledging electric truck company has filed extensive patents for its B1 SUV and B2 pickup. The patents apply to a wide range of technologies, including the waterproof chassis that houses the battery pack and electric motors, along with the virtual differential and other elements of the off-road system.

Based on their Lego-like exterior, there's no doubt the Bollinger duo are unique in the truck world. With portal axle suspensions, inboard disc brakes and Pirelli Scorpion all-terrain tires, the B1 and B2 are meant for a life of serious off-roading adventures. The cabin can be hosed out and cargo space runs the entire length of each vehicle thanks to their low-slung chassis and spartan interior design.

Tesla Celebrates Cybertruck Chaos

We all know what happened when Tesla started bashing the doors and windows of the Cybertruck during its splashy debut. The result was a lot of smashed glass and one very red-in-the-face Elon Musk, Tesla's outspoken CEO who uttered some unprintable words when things went wrong. The goal had been to show the strength of the Cybertruck's apparently "bullet-proof" windows.

Well, the Silicon Valley-based automaker is displaying a good sense of humor. For $35 dollars, you can order a Cybertruck T-shirt at Tesla's website. The Cybertruck Bulletproof Tee features an image of the show-truck's shattered window on the front. It's a quirky spin on a memorable marketing mishap.

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