If you have the bravado to imply your company could run neck-and-neck with real-life Tony Stark analog Elon Musk’s bleeding-edge Tesla Motors, why bother with any pretense? Are we right or are we right, Nikola Motor Company?
Credit where it’s due, however: the electrically powered Nikola One just might disrupt the commercial vehicle OEM market as swiftly as Musk rewrote the rules for consumer passenger vehicles. Taking Nikola’s website at its word, there isn’t much a traditional diesel truck does that the Nikola One can’t outperform multiple times over.
Operating at a reported 95% efficiency, its custom electric motor produces a purported four times the horsepower and more than double the foot-pounds of torque of an average diesel while halving its zero-to-sixty time under load and delivering two to three times the gas mileage. The weight differential is a closer, but more telling, comparison: the Nikola One shows off that workhorse output in spite of a similar sized diesel outweighing it by anywhere from a 1,000 to 5,000 lb. margin.
THE NIKOLA ONE
- 2,000 HORSEPOWER
- 3,700 FT-LBS OF TORQUE
- 800-1,200 MILE RANGE
- 65 MPH TOP SPEED UP HILLS (6%)
- RECHARGING AND SAVING BRAKES
- 0-60 MPH IN 30 SECONDS UNDER LOAD
- 10-15 MPG
- TIPS THE SCALES AT 18,000-21,000 LBS
- 500 HORSEPOWER
- 1,650 FT-LBS OF TORQUE
- 500-750 MILE RANGE
- 20-40 MPH UPHILL TOP SPEED (6%)
- EXHAUST AND FRICTION BRAKES
- 0-60 MPH IN ONE MINUTE UNDER LOAD
- 5.5 MPG
- WEIGHS IN BETWEEN 19,000-23,000 LBS
**SOURCE – Nikolamotor.com/one**
The Nikola One is downright miserly when it comes to expending energy. Distinctive curvaceous aerodynamics minimize how much effort its engine, up to 40-percent thermal efficient turbine, and simultaneous push-and-pull six-wheel-drive spend together struggling against wind resistance. Its regenerative braking replenishes its batteries as the truck slows and stops while the entire vehicle draws from its juice only as necessary with zero idling. Meanwhile, Nikola estimates that One owners could increase revenue somewhere in the $1,000-per-load neighborhood, thanks to almost 2,000 lbs. of weight savings on its chassis freeing up more capacity per haul – “up to $30,000 or more each month in revenue straight to the bottom line,” the website predicts.
Since safety is a paramount priority throughout the North American trucking industry, Nikola has also reduced the One’s stopping distance to half that of competing diesels, thanks in no small part to a center of gravity at or below the frame rail, torque vectoring, and responsive 6X6 all-wheel drive. For comfort as much as safety, engineers designed its spacious interior cab with 30% more square feet than the standard for its class and an expansive panoramic field of view.
Nikola’s $5,000-a-month leasing program for the One currently includes the payment, warranty, scheduled maintenance, and unlimited fuel and miles. Better still, the first 5,000 Nikola One reservations will receive the first 1 million miles of natural gas fuel free from any CNG station or one of the company’s planned 50-plus nationwide branded CNG stations. Take heart, if your vehicle just misses the cutoff: Nikola stations will fill up vehicles across the country at the unheard-of price of $1.50 per DGE of natural gas.