But what exactly did Nikola Motor say? In a recent press release, the company's CEO, Trevor Milton, provides this quote: "Our battery engineers have made major advances in storage and cooling. We believe our lithium battery packs, which should be available next year, are more energy dense and weigh less than any vehicle production pack in the world. To give you an idea, we believe our pack could propel a BMW i3 over 400 miles on a single charge and still fit within the i3 chassis. Our new design should also allow us to fit approximately 125 kWh or more in the Tesla Model S battery envelope."
Don't get us wrong, if what Mr. Milton says is true, then December 1 is going to be a glorious day. That's the date Nikola Motor has set for its triple unveiling: the One semi truck, the 300 planned hydrogen stations throughout the U.S. and the 107 kWh battery pack upgrade for the Zero electric UTV.
Sadly, we have our doubts
That's because Nikola Motor proved it's not the most trustworthy company in the world so far. With just a few months left until its presentation and a little more months after it was first introduced as a range-extended electric truck, the One suffered a complete overhaul of its energy source, which is now a liquid hydrogen fuel cell.Not only that, but Nikola is suddenly keen on building a network of hydrogen stations throughout the country while also producing its own hydrogen. That's a big change in a short period of time for a startup that hasn't produced anything so far.
Mr. Milton also seems to contradict himself. On the one hand, he builds battery packs that power an electric car, and on the other, he admits that this might not be the best solution by saying "[...] hydrogen power generation is a better deal per mile than plugging in for electricity."
As we've said, if on December 1 Trevor Milton proves us all wrong, we'll be the happiest people on earth and celebrate his company for pushing the technology. Until that day comes (which is less than a month, by the way), we'll remain a little circumspect. And you should probably do that too.