Nikola One – the trucking Tesla

nikola oneI am guessing that you’ve heard of Tesla Motors – well, 325,000 people made reservations for the upcoming Model 3 so there’s a fair chance. Now, a company called the Nikola Motor Company is making a very similar name for itself in the trucking industry.

The Nikola Motor Company has obviously taken first name of the man who went on to inspire the far more famous Tesla Motors. Not only that, they seem to be following their mission and strategy.

Mind you, they do say the most sincere form of flattery is imitation so I guess it shows that Tesla is doing the right thing. You only have to look at Elon Musk’s success at disrupting the transportation industry to see why Nikola is following the Musk model.

Musk and his Tesla company is effectively changing the landscape with its all electric products that are well ahead of what anyone else is doing in the industry tech-wise.

Looking at what Nikola is doing in a positive light, the new start-up is set to create more disruption in a Tesla-stylee. This can only be a good thing.

On that note, Nikola has two vehicles currently available for pre-orders: the Nikola One and Nikola Zero, an electric UTV.

Nikola CEO Trevor Milton says:

Our technology is 10-15 years ahead of any other OEM (original equipment manufacturer) in fuel efficiency, MPG and emissions… We are the only OEM to have a near zero-emission truck and still outperform diesel trucks running at 80,000 pounds.”

The Nikola One, isn’t actually a fully electric truck — it’s a gas-electric hybrid. Nevertheless, it has some impressive specifications.

The One is a 2,000 HP truck with a 1,200 mile range, a 6×6 power train, 320 KWH batteries (they use the same batteries as Tesla — I’m guessing you weer expecting that), regenerative braking, 3,700 FT. LBS of torque and a clever turbine design that constantly charges the batteries as the truck drives.

According to company officials, the Nikola One drives at half the cost of a diesel-powered counterpart. I dare say that it would be a while before those savings translate to the consumer but it’s all good.

Good news for the driver too – they get 30% more cab space. This has been achieved by removing the diesel engine, redesigning the cab and moving the driver forward.

nikola one cabThe truck costs between $300,000 and $400,000 depending on the options, and leasing is available from $5,000.

According to Nikola, the company has secured 7,000 orders which should make it a great profit should those orders be fulfilled.

Reservations were made for only $1,500 which means that the startup only made about $11 million. This means the company is in desperate need of capital, and they might just get the $300 million they’re looking for in an upcoming series A funding round.

I do hope that Nikola manages to make it as the industry surely only stands to win — and also the environment. Most goods, from food to electronics, are transported by freight trucks which account for 20% of all transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Let’s see if Nikola can become as known as Tesla Motors for all the right reasons.