Nikola Motor Co. — an electric vehicle company out of Salt Lake City, Utah, that was named after the famous electrical engineer Nikola Tesla — has announced the development of an electric Class 8 truck prototype to be displayed to the public later this year.
The Nikola One heavy-duty electric semi-truck is the result of engineering conducted several years ago by Nikola Motor Co.’s founder and CEO Trevor Milton to develop and build electric vehicles, energy storage systems and electric vehicle drivetrain components.
Among the features of this futuristic electric big-rig are a 2,000-horsepower turbine engine that sends power to a 320-kWh battery. In addition, the tractor features 3,700 pounds-feet of torque, and a range of 1,200 miles with a 150-gallon natural gas tank.
Said to be “many times cleaner than diesel engines,” and offering half the fuel cost per mile compared to diesel, the Nikola One features regenerative braking with the turbine charging the batteries automatically while on the highway.
In a press release Tuesday, the manufacturer said it is offering the first 5,000 people who put down $1,500 to reserve a truck 100,000 gallons of free natural gas in the bargain. Of course that “bargain” comes as part of an MRSP of $375,000. The free fuel is intended to offset the hefty price tag and is based on 100,000 gallons of NG equating to a million work miles.
While Nikola Motor Co. developed the majority of the semi-truck components, the company also co-designed the industry’s first-ever independent suspension with Meritor.
“By working together with some of the top engineering firms in America, we were able to design vehicles that have previously been thought impossible to design,” said Milton.
“We want to even the playing field and income inequalities seen between owner operators and fleets for the first time in recent trucking history. This is just the beginning of what’s ahead for America, our company and the electric vehicle market,” added Milton.
Prior to establishing Nikola, Milton was CEO of dHybrid Systems, a natural gas storage technology company that was acquired in October 2014 by Worthington Industries, among America’s largest steel providers.
For additional product details on the Nikola One, visit www.nikolamotor.com.