The automaker using Nikola Tesla's first name just announced its first two electric vehicles. There's a buggy with a range of roughly 125 miles per charge and a semi-electric semi-truck that can be driven from South Florida to New York without having to stop to recharge or refuel.
While Tesla Motors has been focusing on fueling consumer cars with electricity, Nikola Motor Company, now out of stealth mode, has been designing its electric semi-truck.
The Nikola One, as the electric semi-truck is called, is still just a concept. But what a compelling concept the commercial transport vehicle may be, if Nikola Motor Company can push to production a final version with its specs.
The electric semi-truck has a range of up to 800 to 1,200 miles on a single charge of its 320 kWh battery, which Nikola Motor Company estimates comes at half the cost of the fuel needed to power a diesel engine given that distance.
The One's flat-out ridiculous range is attributed to a turbine and regenerative braking, which restore some of the battery's charge while the truck is being driven. The turbine isn't electric, however, and requires either gasoline, natural gas, or diesel to run.
"The turbine outputs nearly 400 kilowatts (kW) of clean energy straight to the batteries, keeping them charged — a powerhouse unlike any the world has seen before," the company states. "This proprietary turbine has the ability to turn on and off within seconds — another first in the transportation industry."
Under load, the electric semi-truck can go from zero to 60 miles per hour (mph) in under 30 seconds. Its top speed for driving uphill is 65 mph.
The Nikola One's fact sheet may sound like fiction to some, but Nikola Motor Company Founder and CEO Trevor Milton asserts that he and his company have been quietly collaborating with some of the U.S.' brightest minds to "design vehicles that have previously been thought impossible to design."
"Nikola has built the truck of the future and will hold that title for quite some time," Milton says.
The Nikola Motor Company hopes to show off prototypes of the One and the Zero UTV later this year. The One's MSRPs will range from $350,000 to $415,000 and the Zero has been priced at $42,000.