Electric hauler Nikola One’s huge range, high-tech comforts draw 7,000+ pre-orders

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Updated Jun 18, 2016

Still five months from the truck’s official debut, Nikola Motor Company founder and CEO Trevor Milton recently announced more than 7,000 reservations—each accompanied with a refundable $1,500 deposit—have been received for the company’s Nikola One electric Class 8 truck.

“Our technology is 10-15 years ahead of any other OEM in fuel efficiencies, MPG and emissions,” Milton says. “To have over 7,000 reservations totaling more than $2.3 billion, with five months remaining until our unveiling ceremony, is unprecedented.”

To put Nikola One’s order numbers in perspective, a total of just more than 14,000 Class 8 trucks were ordered last month from all other North American OEMs combined.

“We believe we will pass the current market leaders like Daimler, Paccar, Volvo and Navistar in sales orders within the next 12-24 months,” Milton adds. “Just imagine the orders that will come in once we begin taking dealer applications.”

Last month, NMC announced its intent to roll out the electric Class 8 truck which features 2,000 horsepower, 3,700-plus ft. lbs. of torque before gear reduction and a range of 1,200 miles.

There are a lot of eye-popping numbers in that sentence. Tesla’s Model 3, the electric car whose coming launch has been heralded like a returning war hero, promises a range of just 200-plus miles.

RELATED >> The Nikola One is an electric Class 8 hauler with 2,000 hp, 1,200-mile range…that you don’t have to plug in

Thanks to an on-board turbine, NMC founder Trevor Milton is promising six times more from his Nikola One tractor.

The majority of the truck’s components are being developed by NMC, but the company turned to Meritor for help in co-designing the industry’s first-ever independent suspension.

Nikola One’s fully electric 335 horsepower motors feature a dual gear reduction at every wheel (6Ă—6) and are powered by a liquid cooled lithium-ion battery pack, which is charged by the onboard turbine when needed. Milton says there is no need to ever plug in the unit.

Milton adds Nikola One was designed with the driver in mind. Its cab is 30 percent larger than those found on more traditional trucks, and its aerodynamic design reduces the drag coefficient by nearly 5 percent over most tractors currently on the market.

Nikola One’s cab features a sliding mid-entry door, a full-size fridge and freezer, electric climate controlled cabin, 15-inch touch screen infotainment display, 10-inch instrument cluster display, 4G LTE internet and Wi-Fi, over the air software updates, panoramic windshield, sunroof, two full size beds, microwave and 42-inch television.

Plush creature comforts and technology like this—a fuel agnostic turbine, carbon fiber panels, a 320 kWh battery pack and standard platooning capabilities—don’t come cheap.

The sticker price on a Nikola One will range from $350,000 to $415,000. That’s a tough hurdle to clear for fleets making a couple of bucks per mile.

The Nikola One truck leasing program costs upwards of $5000 per month, depending on which truck configuration and options the customer chooses. The company says it will provide the first million miles of compressed natural gas at no extra charge on every truck spec’d with that configuration. The fuel is used to power an onboard turbine that is used to charge the truck’s batteries.


Milton says dealerships have already begun to reach out with inquiries about adding the upstart brand to their lot.

“We have shown other OEMs and their shareholders why they should be nervous about Nikola Motor Company,” he says. “Some of the top class 8 dealerships in America have reached out and are willing to either add our brand or move away from their existing brands.”