E-Truck Claims $2.3 Billion in Pre-Sales in First Month

June 15, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Nikola Motor Company Founder and CEO Trevor Milton today announced that $2.3 billion in reservations have been generated in the first month, totaling more than 7,000 truck reservations with deposits. The company announced that it will launch an electric class 8 semi-truck, dubbed "Nikola One."

“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. To have over 7,000 reservations totaling more than 2.3 billion dollars, with five months remaining until our unveiling ceremony, is unprecedented,” said Milton.

The Nikola One truck leasing program costs $4000 to $5000 per month, depending on which truck configuration and options the customer chooses. The first million miles of fuel is included with every truck sale, offsetting 100% of the monthly lease for every owner. An average diesel burns over $400,000 in fuel and racks up over $100,000 in maintenance costs over 1,000,000 miles. These costs are eliminated with the Nikola One lease.

“We believe we will pass the current market leaders like Daimler, PACCAR, Volvo and Navistar in sales orders within the next 12-24 months. Just imagine the orders that will come in once we begin taking dealer applications. We have shown other OEMs and their shareholders why they should be nervous about Nikola Motor Company. 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,” he added.

The Nikola One will be capable of pulling a total gross weight of 80,000 pounds and offering more than 1,200 miles between stops. Nikola One has a 335 horsepower electric motor and a dual gear reduction at every wheel (6x6). Combined, Nikola One outputs over 2,000 horsepower and over 3,700 ft. lbs. of torque before gear reduction and nearly 86,000 ft. lbs. of instant torque after gear reduction.

The truck’s six electric motors produce superior horsepower, torque, acceleration, pulling and stopping power over any class 8 truck on the road. Nikola One incorporates a new proprietary independent suspension system, based on Meritor’s all-wheel drive ProTec High Mobility Independent Suspension product line. As the first Class 8 vehicle to offer a fully independent suspension, drivers will experience premium ride quality and reduced vibration, minimizing driver fatigue. The unique steering geometry achieves a new standard in tracking, centering feel, and intuitive feedback, allowing drivers to focus on the road ahead. These benefits to the driver’s precision and comfort are achieved through a tightly controlled suspension geometry, reduced weight of the unsprung components attached to the wheels and air spring dampers with position sensitivity.

Most of the Nikola One’s heavy components sit at or below the frame rail, thereby lowering the center of gravity and improving safety. This was partially accomplished by removing the diesel engine and transmission and manufacturing the cab out of lighter, but stronger, carbon fiber panels. Benefits of removing the diesel engine include a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a larger and more aerodynamic cab and a significantly quieter and more comfortable ride. All that is necessary to make the Nikola One go or stop is the electric pedal and brake pedal (no shifting or clutches). The Nikola One’s simplified operation will open up the line haul market to a whole new group of drivers.

Battery and Range Extender – The Nikola One’s electric motors are powered by a liquid cooled 320 kWh, lithium-ion battery pack (over 30,000 lithium cells), which is charged by a proprietary onboard Nikola Motor Company turbine. The turbine automatically charges the batteries when needed and eliminates the need to ever “plug-in”. The turbine produces nearly 400 kW of clean energy, which provides ample battery power to allow the Nikola One to climb a six percent grade at maximum weight at 65 mph. A typical class 8 diesel truck under similar conditions would have a hard time reaching 35 mph. And going downhill, the Nikola One’s six electric motors absorb the braking energy normally lost and deliver it back to the batteries, increasing component life, miles per gallon, safety, and freight efficiencies while eliminating noisy engine brakes and reducing the potential for runaway trucks.

When compared to a typical class 8 diesel, the Nikola One’s turbine is much cleaner and more efficient. The turbine is also fuel agnostic, meaning it can run on gasoline, diesel or clean burning natural gas. Torque Vectoring – Because there is an electric motor at each wheel, the Nikola One’s software provides dynamic control to each wheel. This is called “torque vectoring” and it is accomplished by controlling the speed and torque of each of the six wheels independent of each other at any given moment. This first ever, 6x6 torque vectoring hardware and software system will allow for safer cornering, double the stopping power, improved traction, less tire wear and longer component life over current class 8 trucks. Torque vectoring technology is not available with a conventional drivetrain powered by a diesel motor.

Cab Features - NMC has designed a truck with the driver in mind that boasts a 30 percent larger cab, while increasing aerodynamics and reducing the co-efficient of drag by nearly five percent over current trucks on the market. The Nikola One’s cab features a patent-pending sliding midentry door for improved access and driver safety, a full-size fridge and freezer, electric climate controlled cabin, 15” touch screen infotainment display, 10” 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. All of these features will be powered by the 320 kWh battery pack, alleviating the need to idle or run a separate generator. The Nikola One’s cab is by far the most spacious and comfortable cab on the market and its offered amenities are a first for line haul drivers and fleets. The driver could theoretically stay in the cab with all the amenities on for almost a week without draining the batteries enough to initiate the turbine charge.

Nikola Motor Company has already completed a seed round of funding and is working on funding a $300 million A round to be completed by December 2016.