Following a change of plans earlier this year, during which it was decided to use hydrogen power instead of a natural gas range extender for propulsion, the Nikola One has been presented in the flesh.
Unveiled during an invite-only event, in front of more than 600 members of the media, government representatives, industry partners and customers, at the company’s headquarters in Salt Lake City, the semi-truck is said to cover between 800 and 1,200 miles (1,287-1,931 km), which is less than the previous number announced of “over 1,200 miles”.
The range is nevertheless impressive for a truck that tips the scales at 18,000-21,000 (8,165-9,525 kg), and so is the output – 1,000 HP and 2,000 lb-ft (2,712 Nm) of torque, which allows it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 30 seconds under load, or half the time needed for a diesel-powered semi. Responsible for feeding the electric motors is a 320-kWh lithium-ion battery, which is incorporated into the frame rail.
Nikola Motor’s ambitions might have dropped a bit from the initial announcement, but they seem to stick to the plan that gives customers unlimited miles and free hydrogen fuel, as part of a special leasing program. This sees prospective buyers, paying a monthly lease between $5,000 and $7,000 (for 72 months) for the One, depending on the specified trim, which allows them to trade it in at the end of the program, or 1,000,000 miles (1,609,344 km), whichever comes first, without being charged.
However, before seeing the first examples of the hydrogen-electric semi on the road, Nikola Motor still have to open a factory, whose location is to be determined in the first half of 2017. Additionally, the small company also plans to begin the construction of 364 hydrogen stations from January 2018, in the US and Canada, which will be responsible for providing the free fuel for the first 1,000,000 million miles for any of the trucks in the ‘Complete Leasing Program’.
Rounding up the list of announcements is a more affordable version of the One, dubbed Nikola Two, which is in the works. The special leasing offering is available for both models.