Nikola hybrid truck claims $2.3bn in reservations

A rendering of the Nikola One semi-truck. Image courtesy of Nikola Motor Company.
A rendering of the Nikola One semi-truck. Image courtesy of Nikola Motor Company.

Electric truck manufacturer Nikola Motor Company has announced that it has collected over $2.3bn in reservations.

So far the company claims to have collected pre-orders for more than 7000 of its Nikola One semi-trucks.

All of these pre-orders came within just one month of the company unveiling this vehicle, demonstrating significant market interest.

“To have over 7,000 reservations totaling more than 2.3 billion dollars, with five months remaining until our unveiling ceremony, is unprecedented,” said Nikola Motor Company CEO Trevor Milton in a statement.

The Nikola One itself is an eight-wheeled hybrid-electric semi-truck designed to be significantly more fuel efficient than existing truck designs.

In order to achieve this, the vehicle makes use of a turbine powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) which charges a 320kWh battery pack. Further efficiency savings are provided through the use of regenerative breaking, similar to other pre-existing hybrid cars.

Using these systems Nikola claims that their truck is able to travel 1200 miles (1931km) on a single tank of fuel, at more than half the fuel cost per mile when compared to traditional trucks.

“Our technology is 10-15 years ahead of any other OEM in fuel efficiencies, MPG and emissions. We are the only OEM to have a near zero emission truck and still outperform diesel trucks running at 80,000 pounds,” Milton said.

The fuel savings for this truck will need to be significant if it is to make up for its cost. Retailing at $375,000, the vehicle costs around twice the price of competing semi-trucks.

To help ease this cost, Nikola is offering free fueling for the first 1,000,000 miles (1,609,344km) of driving. As well, the Nikola One is available for lease for $5000 a month.

While Nikola describes their truck as “near zero emissions”, the truth is that the vehicle will still generate significant CO2 emissions due to its gas-powered turbine.

Undoubtedly it will be more environmentally-friendly than diesel-powered trucks, however until more information is released, it is unknown exactly how large these savings will be.

The first prototype Nikola One truck is planned to be unveiled to the public in December this year, so more information on the vehicle will likely be provided then.