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Nikola Motor Company wants to be the Tesla of trucking

But they couldn't be bothered to invent a different name.
Andrew Dalton, @dolftown
May 11, 2016
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A new entrant to the electric vehicle industry called Nikola Motor Company is unabashedly riding the wave of the future in Tesla's wake. Although the company may have copped their name from Elon Musk's inspiration, Nikola is taking a slightly different course with their two planned electric vehicles: a 2,000-horsepower semi-truck and a four-seater, open-frame 4x4.

The former is creatively named the Nikola One and while it's not the first electric shipping truck, the company claims it can get 800-1,200 miles of range from a 320 kWh battery that never has to be plugged in. That feat of engineering comes courtesy of a "sophisticated, hi-tech natural gas turbine" that charges the battery while the truck is on the road. To support all these electric-CNG hybrid trucks, Nikola plans to build their own network of 50 CNG stations across the country. On the smaller side, the Nikola Zero is a 520-horsepower off-roader that the company says will get 100-150 miles of range from a 50 kWh battery.

But neither vehicle has made it past the drawing board stage at this point, and there are no concepts built aside from some 3D-rendered models on the company's website. The company will, however, gladly take your money for a surprisingly reasonable pre-order price of $1,500 and $750, respectively. As CNET's Road/show points out, with final sticker prices of $375,000 for the semi-truck and $42,000 for the 4x4, it doesn't seem likely that this pre-order plan will drive enough capital to actually build these things in the real world. That's OK, though, even the company's prolific namesake was sometimes prone to vaporware.

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