autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Watch Out, There's a New Tesla in Town and It'll Sell This Electric Semi

OK, if Nikola Tesla had any more names, now's the time to know because if they exist, they will surely spawn some new EV-making company in the near future. No? OK, then that means we're stuck with Tesla Motors and the less famous Nikola Motor Company.
Nikola One 6x6 electric semi 4 photos
Nikola ZeroNikola OneNikola Motor Company logo
Nikola Motor Company may be virtually unknown, but that doesn't mean it's new on the market. The Utah-based firm has been around for some time, designing and manufacturing electric vehicles, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and electric vehicle drivetrains. The only reason you haven't heard about it so far is because it doesn't have a vocal CEO like the company using the surname of the Serbian inventor.

His name is Trevor Milton, and his company describes him as a "visionary." No reason to doubt that, but it just goes to prove the difference good PR and self-promo can make for a brand's success. However, Nikola Motor Company (NMC) seems ready to poke its head out now, and it's announcing two new models that will be launched shortly should it receive the needed support.

The first one is called Nikola Zero and it's a four-by-four electric adventure buggy not very different from the likes of Polaris RZR or Canam Maverick. It's got a maximum range of between 100 and 150 miles, 520 hp, and a 0-60 mph acceleration time of just three seconds. It's a completely insane vehicle that can be reserved with just $750. You would be taking a risk, though, as you can never really know what happens with these small enterprises in the future. But if it succeeds, you'll have to pay the $41,250 difference to own it, which is a lot of money for what is essentially nothing more than a fun car.

The real start of the show is the Nikola One, a streamlined electric semi truck that uses an onboard turbine engine to produce its own energy. This setup offers some very impressive figures: a maximum range of 1,200 miles per tank, 2,000 hp, more than double the torque of an average diesel truck (3,700 lb-ft or 2,730 Nm), 30 seconds 0-60 acceleration under load, and a top speed uphill of 65 mph (105 km/h).

As the picture demonstrates, the Nikola One owes much of these performance figures to its aerodynamic design. If that windshield doesn't prove to be distorting the driver's vision like the one on the Tesla Model X does, then it'll be a thing of beauty. The idea of streamlined trucks isn't new, and yet none has managed to look anything like the Nikola Zero so far.

The company promises huge improvements over a regular diesel truck in both performances and profitability. The turbine that acts as a generator runs on CNG which NMC extracts, liquefies, and sells all by itself. In fact, it's offering 1,000,000 miles worth of free fuel for the first 5,000 owners, so if that's what was holding you back, jump on it. The deposit for a Nikola One is just $1,500, but the truck will eventually cost $375,000 when it's ready. Or should we say "if" it's ever ready? If it ends up looking like this and is half as good as NMC wants us to believe, then we sure hope it'll roll on our roads one day.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories