Nikola to introduce its first battery-powered electric truck

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Updated Feb 12, 2019
Trevor Milton, founder of Nikola Motor Company, unveils the Nikola One at company headquarters in Salt Lake City in 2016.Trevor Milton, founder of Nikola Motor Company, unveils the Nikola One at company headquarters in Salt Lake City in 2016.

Still more than two months away from an event the company has dubbed Nikola World – where the now-Arizona-based hydrogen fuel cell truck startup plans to debut its flagship Class 8 tractor – Nikola Motor Company tweeted Friday that a battery-powered unit would also be showcased.

The company’s twitter account, offering only “880Vdc as a teaser,” says Nikola Motor CEP Trevor Milton would “announce Nikola Two and Nikola Tre in both Hydrogen and BEV” at the company’s three-day event in April.

Despite the addition of a battery option, the company tweeted it was not shifting focus away from hydrogen, adding it was simply offering battery options for shorter-range, non-weight sensitive applications.

“Zero implications on hydrogen,” read a tweet from @nikolamotor. “Hydrogen for long haul, over 700 stations going up and over 14 billion in pre orders for H2 and rising every day. BEV customers don’t compete with hydrogen as they are mainly for inner city and much less range.”

The company called hydrogen its “primary focus” for the long term with 50:1 sales of hydrogen versus electric.

“We believe both have their place,” the company tweeted.

Hydrogen-equipped models, according to the company, are 5,000 pounds lighter and offer lower operating costs in long-haul applications, even factoring for hydrogen costs.

A battery-powered tractor wouldn’t be the company’s first venture into the all-electric segment. In 2017, CCJ was able to ride along in the company’s all-wheel-drive Nikola Zero UTV.