Nikola Trucks

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Electric Truck Startup Nikola Motors Claims $2.3 Billion in Preorders Before Prototype Is Even Ready

June 2016

In May, Nikola Motors made two big announcements: The first was that it existed, and the second was that it was developing a US $375,000 hybrid electric semi truck called the Nikola One. The company promised that the truck, powered by lithium battery packs and a compressed natural gas generator, would be better than the current generation of semi trucks in every single way. Nikola said it would best its competitors in terms of power, efficiency, weight, speed, safety, cost of ownership, and durability. What’s more, the Nikola Motors team said, there would be a curved 4K TV in the sleeper cab in the back. Each Nikola One will cost $5,000 per month, but maintenance and fuel will be included at no additional cost for the first 1.6 million kilometers. This, says Nikola, will make it an attractive financial proposition for owners and operators.


Nikola Motor Company Generates $2.3 Billion in Pre-Sales in First Month

Working electric truck prototype to be unveiled on December 2, 2016 in Salt Lake City


June 13, 2016 -- Nikola (pronounced Neek-oh-la) 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 last month 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.

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.

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.

Nikola Photo.jpg

Not a Tesla, but Powerful Hybrid

The Nikola One is powered by fossil fuels (primarily compressed natural gas, although any liquid fuel will do) that drive a 400 kilowatt turbine to generate electricity onboard. That electricity is fed into a 320 kilowatt-hour battery pack (triple the size of the pack in a Tesla Model S P90D), from which the electric motors at the truck's wheels draw current. The truck’s fuel efficiency ranges from 29.4 to 19.6 liters per 100 km (between 8 and 12 mpg). It’s tank can store 379 liters (100 gallons), yielding its advertised 1,930-km (1,200 mile) maximum range. Without the generator, a full battery pack provides enough energy to propel the truck for as much as 320 km, depending on the load. If you want to, you can plug the truck into a wall to charge its battery pack that way, but the practical design of the Nikola One is really based around the turbine.

Natural Gas Stations Network



“$2.3 billion in presales” refers to 7,000(ish) deposits to reserve a truck worth approximately $375,000. But each deposit is a fully refundable $1,500 — not the full $375,000 — meaning that Nikola Motors has received slightly over $10 million. It's a significant amount of money, but that $2.3 billion isn't really meaningful at this point.


GreenPolicy Analysis:

  • Potential for profound industry 'disruption'
  • Advice: Track roll out and trucking industry uptake in 2017
  • Note performance metrics, dealer sign on/servicing, and trucking industry demand
  • Follow sector. Will Nikola's prototype and business model spurs OEM competitors to engineer/produce competitive products/models
  • Sidebar value-add: A natural gas stations network across major US interstate routes will spur additional moves to take up recent production increases in US natural gas industry