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Nikola founder dishes on timeline for Badger FCEV pickup truck debut, reservation numbers

This photo of the Nikola Badger greets customers on the company's website.

Photo courtesy of Nikola Corporation

The Nikola Badger, without ever being given a thorough once-over by the public (even in prototype form), is bringing in 1,500 reservations per day in the dawn of product's open-for-businenss timeline according to Trevor Milton, Founder and Executive Chairman of Nikola Corporation.

This week on Twitter, Milton divulged the reservation numbers, as well as Nikola's plans for the marketing rollout of the model. On August 24, the company will show off photos of the truck's interior. The public will see the truck's frame, batteries, and axles on September 21. Mid-October, teaser photos of the truck "in the wild" will be released and one month later video of the full truck will be published.

Then, on December 3-5, the Nikola Badge makes it big debut as part of #NikolaWorld2020.

Milton went further, engaging with Nikola enthusiasts inviting them to have input on which version of the truck he drives onto the stage as part of the debut- one in black or blue?

Nikola is selling battery-electric (BEV) and fuel cell electric (FCEV) versions of the midsize truck. Badger BEV starts at $60,000 and has a 300-mile range. Badger FCEV models are fueled by hydrogen, have a 600-mile range and start at $80,000.

Buyers can choose from three packages for each vehicle: Honey, Predator, or Instinct. Honey requires a $5,000 deposit and gets you one of the first models off the assembly line. It is signed by Milton. Additionally, buyers received $5,000 off the purchase price of their vehicle (Nikola matches the deposit), two backstage meet-and-greet passes for Nikola World 2020, and 25 entries in a Badger giveaway contest. The deposit is fully refundable. If the purchaser uses the passes before asking for a refund, the forfeit the $250 value of the passes.

The Predator package sells for $1,000. It includes $1,000 off the purchase price of their vehicle (Nikola matches the deposit), two tickets to Nikola World 2020, and five entries in a Badger giveaway contest. The deposit is fully refundable. If the purchaser uses the passes before asking for a refund, the forfeit the $250 value of the passes.

Nikola's Instinct package is structured similarly and is priced at $250. It features a Nikola-matched $250 off the purchase price of their vehicle, one ticket to Nikola World 2020, and one entry in a Badger giveaway contest. The deposit is fully refundable. If the purchaser uses the passes before asking for a refund, the forfeit the $250 value of the passes.

The Honey Badger packages is sold out with around 1,000 reservations taken. Milton says that sales have so far netted around $100 million in future revenue. According to his tweet thread, Milton is also publicly committing to being transparent regarding sales figures. something that chief rival Tesla has not done regarding Cybertruck reservations.

Nikola Badger interior Nikola released this rendering of the interior of the Badger last year. Photo courtesy of Nikola Corporation

According to data received by Finbold.com, reservations for the Tesla Cybertruck amount to more than the total number of vehicles the company made in 2018 and 2019, combined.

Production of both vehicle is slated to begin in 2021. Meanwhile, GMC has plans to put its Hummer all-electric truck on sale around the same time and an EV version of the Ford F-150 is on a similar timeline.

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Toyota is mobilizing, putting its money where its mouth is to help Texas affected by severe winter weather.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Winter Storm Uri impacted nearly every single one of Texas's 254 counties. North Texas-based Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) has pledged $1 million in relief for those affected by the storm. The aid is slated to serve both Toyota and Lexus customers and a variety of Texas-based non-profit organizations.

Over 60 Texas counties were part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) recent Texas Severe Winter Storms (DR-4586-TX). It is currently categorized as an active disaster.

"We take our role as community leaders seriously, so when winter storms affected millions right in our back yard, our top priority became helping Texas get back on its feet after this ordeal," said Sean Suggs, group vice president of Social Innovation, TMNA. "Texans have supported our company in myriad ways, and we want to help our neighbors emerge from this storm stronger than ever."

The $1 million relief effort includes:

North Texas/DFW Metroplex

  • United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, in support of North Texas Cares and West Dallas nonprofits to quickly distribute funds to grassroots organizations: $450,000
  • North Texas Food Bank: $100,000
  • The Family Place and Genesis Women's Shelter to fund hotel rooms, food, and transportation for their clients: $30,000
  • Toyota employees will be able to support the needs of four North Texas community partners significantly impacted by the storms by purchasing items from their Amazon Wish Lists.

San Antonio

  • SAWS Community Pipe Repair Fund, through the San Antonio Area Foundation to assist individuals and families stay in their homes safely with funds for plumbing repairs: $100,000
  • Let's Help SA Fund to provide food, water and shelter: $200,000

Houston

  • United Way of Greater Houston to support the Greater Houston 2021 Winter Storm Relief Fund that supports local home repairs: $50,000
  • Houston Food Bank: $50,000
  • CrowdSource Rescue to provide food, water and fuel: $20,000

Additionally, Toyota will match up to $10,000 in individual employee contributions to nonprofit organizations recovering from the storm.

Toyota and Lexus Financial Services customers who are looking for loan and lease payment relief, and were impacted by the storm, may be able to receive assistance under a new Toyota program that has a variety of options for clients.

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Vonlane typically runs luxury bus service to multiple high-priority locations in Texas and beyond.

Photo courtesy of Vonlane

Texas-based luxury bus company Vonlane is back on the road following the winter storm, offering limited routes to travelers among Houston, Dallas, and Austin.

"Upon conducting road tests around the state, we are confident that we can now deliver our normal exceptional travel experience," the Dallas-based company said in a February 19 email to customers.

A quick check of the schedule online shows it's possible to book one-way and roundtrip travel from the Houston Downtown Hyatt Regency to Dallas Doubletree at Love Field or the Austin Hyatt Regency, beginning Friday, February 19.

Rates are $105 each way.

Routes to and from Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City are not yet available.

Vonlane buses are operating with a number of COVID-19 protocols, including blocked seats for social distancing. Face masks and temperature checks are required.

Vonlane launched its high-end bus service in 2014 to cater to business travelers. Each bus, which holds fewer than two dozen passengers, features amenities like WiFi, satellite TV and radio, snack and drink service, and leather seats.

Reservations can be booked online, and may be canceled and fully refunded up to 24 hours before departure.


The original version of this story can be found on AutomotiveMap's sister site, CultureMap.

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