Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ:NKLA), the new kid on the electric vehicle block, has started accepting preorders for its Badger electric pickup truck, which is seen as direct competition to Tesla Inc's (NASDAQ:TSLA) Cybertruck.
The Tesla Analyst: Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives has a Neutral rating on Tesla with a $1,000 price targe
Tesla Vs. Nikola Preorders: The Nikola Badger clearly goes after Tesla's Cybertruck, which has built a "formidable" list of customers since its launch late last year, Ives said in a Monday note. (See his track record here.)
The Badger will be available in two versions:one powered by an EV battery with a 300-mile range and another powered by fuel cells with a 600-mile range, the analyst said.
Pre-orders for Tesla's Cybertruck stand at a staggering 650,000, and momentum is continuing to build, he said.
Tesla's pickup has an impressive steel framework and looks more out of a "'Blade Runner' sci-fi movie," capitalizing on Musk and his team's penchant for thinking out of the box, Ives said.
The analyst said he is of the view that pre-order activity for the Badger over the next three to six months will serve as a key data point for investors to get a sense of the market's potential adoption curve.
Tesla Vs. Nikola EV Truck Positioning: Ives also delved into how both companies would like to position their EV pickups in the market.
"Investors will question if this is a mass market pickup for both Tesla and Nikola going after Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) with 3 million pickup trucks sold annually in the US, or a more niche "wow factor" model that will be more limited in demand/production scale and scope," the analyst said.
For Tesla to hit Wedbush's $1,500 bull case, one key component will be future success with the pickup market, the Model Y and new vehicle versions and models, according to Wedbush.
TSLA Price Action: Tesla shares were up 6.39% at $1,073.84 at the time of publication Tuesday, while Nikola shares were down 0.17% at $67.46.
Photo courtesy of Nikola.