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Nikola Motor Company unveils jaw-dropping electric big rig, 4x4 UTV concepts

By Shawn Knight
May 11, 2016
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  1. A startup by the name of Nikola Motor Company has emerged from the shadows to unveil two concept electric vehicles that could have a major impact on their respective markets... assuming of course that they actually make it to market one day.

    The Nikola One is an electric semi-truck with a striking look that resembles something you’d see in a Transformers movie. The proposed cargo hauler, which will utilize a natural gas-powered turbine to charge its 320kWh lithium-ion battery while driving, is capable of generating 2,000 horsepower and 3,700 foot-pounds of torque with an estimated range of 1,200 miles.

    Torque is paramount in a semi and having all of it on tap almost instantly means it can accelerate nearly twice as fast as a standard semi, the company claims. With a full load, the rig will reportedly be able to accelerate from 0-60 MPH in just thirty seconds.

    The One also features 6x6 regenerative braking which, when combined with the air disc brakes, allows the semi to stop up to twice as fast under full load compared to any other truck on the market.

    Nikola further claims the One’s aerodynamic design plus the fact that it weighs roughly 2,000 pounds less than a standard rig makes it more capable and efficient than the competition. That certainly seems plausible if you were to remove the massive diesel engine that powers today’s big rigs.

    The Nikola Zero, meanwhile, is a utility task vehicle (UTV) that largely resembles a traditional side-by-side. The fully-electric vehicle packs a mind-numbing 520 HP and 476 ft. lbs. of torque that’d propel the four-seater from 0-60 MPH in just three seconds (that's in the supercar range).

    Other goodies include a 50kWh battery, full-time all-wheel drive, Beard seats with 4-point safety harnesses, 20 inches of suspension clearance with 14.5 inches of ground clearance, 32-inch tires, 14-inch disc brakes, 10-degree rear steering, double winches and of course, an IP67 rating for the electric motor and gearbox.

    Nikola Motor says it’ll be good for up to 150 miles of range on a full charge which can come courtesy of a wall charger or 600w solar roof panel. Four cameras mounted on the perimeter of the UTV provide visibility to two 7-inch displays and a single 10-inch display.

    Named after inventor Nikola Tesla (I’m sure Tesla Motors is thrilled about the name choice), Nikola Motor Company’ creations are ambitious if nothing else. Tesla has proven that modern electric vehicles are plausible and can look great but getting to this point has been an incredibly costly affair. Funding alone could very well sink the startup before anything ever hits the market.

    The EV company is now accepting reservations for both vehicles. You’ll need to drop just $1,500 for the Nikola One which will come in at an MSRP of $375,000 or $750 to reserve a Zero UTV that starts at $42,000. Nikola says the first 5,000 people to reserve a One will receive free fuel for a million miles while the first 5,000 Zero reservations will get an instant $5,000 dealer discount.

    Nikola Motor Company plans to demonstrate the first working prototypes to the public later this year.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,684   +790

    It's eye popping impressive .... but with all that technology are they going to include a simple way to keep the overworked drivers from falling asleep on the road?
     
  3. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Guru Posts: 382   +340

    So all we need now is a merger, and nikola tesla labs could live again!
     
    alabama man likes this.
  4. Capaill

    Capaill TS Addict Posts: 292   +93

    I'm pretty sure I read recently that a small convoy of 4 driverless trucks have already been tested as they drove through Europe for a week. I can see that technology being combined with electric engines for even greater performance.
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. noel24

    noel24 TS Maniac Posts: 304   +154

    No offense, but sounds like a ripoff. Company name that invokes Tesla at the back of Your head, some Computer generated concepts and no big name to back it up. I smell crowdfunding action soon. Maybe even stock exchange issueing, Soprano style. Shares, anyone?
     
    bmw95 likes this.
  6. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Addict Posts: 106   +58

    Was thinking exactly the same thing.
     
  7. Ranger1st

    Ranger1st TS Evangelist Posts: 334   +101

    Not sure I want to invest in a Company that specializes in innovation when the best Corp. name they could come up with, was the First name of their primary.. and only.. rival. Thats pretty slim picking in the overall intelligence quotient of the company that no one higher up said.. " hey, Fire the tool that came up with that name.."
     
  8. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    I was surprised that they went with a goofy aircraft cockpit interior design and didn't shave the mirrors for a more aerodynamic camera rear view system.

    The side-by-side with a solar panel seems out of touch with the reality that these vehicles are for play and sometimes find themselves with the rubber side up.
     
  9. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 340   +133

    Maybe I'm missing something, but how common are natural gas fueling stations? I know a couple city's public transit systems use natural gas for their buses, but I doubt they would let a, indie or corporate, trucker fill up.
     
  10. MannerMauler

    MannerMauler TS Booster Posts: 100   +18

    I don't see a whole lot of truckers liking this. The wheelbase looks nearly 8ft longer than a full size Kenworth nightcab, one of the longest, if not THE longest, semi trucks on the market. The Kenny is known for it's somewhat terrible turning radius because of how long it's wheelbase is....
     

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