The Nikola Motor Company and Their Electric Semi-Truck

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The trucking industry is undergoing a radical transformation and the innovations continue to revolutionize the entire sector. A new company has just been revealed to the public and it is making waves throughout the trucking industry. Nikola Motor Company just showed off their electric long-haul rig concept and it is impressive to say the least.

Learn more about Otto’s autonomous semi-truck: https://mfgtalkradio.com/ex-google-employees-taking-self-driving-technology-one-step-farther/

The Nikola One, the first vehicle that was unveiled is a 6×6 all-wheel drive electric semi-truck. It uses 800-volt AC motors to power the wheels and makes use of regenerative braking to assist in charging the batteries. The motors put out an impressive 2000 horsepower, this is nearly 4 times the horsepower that most trucks have on the road today. Additionally, the Nikola One will cut the fuel cost per mile in half when compared to diesel trucks. Nikola Motor Company will also offer 1 million miles worth of fuel for free.

It works by using a similar system to the Chevy Volt. It has a tank that holds 150 gallons of compressed natural gas that will power a turbine to charge its 320 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The Chevy Volt uses its gasoline powered engine to recharge its batteries. One of the great things about this system is that drivers would not need to stop to recharge their batteries. The turbine coupled with regenerative braking will allow the truck to run for 1200 straight miles without having to stop to recharge. Both are considered electric vehicles because electricity is what will power the wheels but they will still use fossil fuels to recharge the batteries that store the electricity.

It is a bit comical that they used the name Nikola, as this is the first name of inventor Nikola Tesla. As many of you may know, Tesla is Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company and Nikola Motor Company did not hide the fact that they were heavily influenced by the automobile manufacturer.

Nikola Motor Company will be opening up reservations for those interested in the Nikola One. A $1,500 down payment will earn a spot to purchase the $350,000 electric tractor-trailer. It is stated on their website that the deposit is will be 100% refundable. There’s been no announcement stating when the Nikola One will be available for purchase.

For those that don’t have the funds to purchase the Nikola One, the company also offers a dune-buggy-like 4×4. It’s an off-road vehicle named the Nikola Zero and is available for pre-order with a $750 deposit.

It has been an amazing couple of years in regard to electric vehicle development. From consumer model Tesla’s to autonomous and electric-powered semi-trucks, the technology continues to advance at an incredible pace. The Nikola One in particular could have a tremendous impact on the trucking industry. From cutting fuel costs, to drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, trucking is evolving and this means the supply chain will transform along with it.

Sources:

http://techcrunch.com/2016/05/19/nikola-motor-company-unveils-its-electric-mostly-truck/

https://www.engadget.com/2016/05/11/nikola-motor-company-tesla-of-trucking/

http://www.equipmentworld.com/the-nikola-one-is-an-electric-class-8-hauler-with-2000-hp-1200-mile-range-that-you-dont-have-to-plug-in/