Utah-based startup receives 7k orders for hybrid semi
Nikola is named after engineer Nikola Tesla.
An ambitious Utah-based startup called Nikola Motor Company has announced plans to build the world's first series-produced eco-friendly semi truck.
Still at the prototype stage, the truck is known simply as the Nikola One. A batch of computer-generated sketches show that the One boasts typical semi truck proportions but it stands out thanks to a surprisingly aerodynamic design. Notably, it features a large wrap-around windshield and thin A-pillars that give the driver an unobstructed view of the road ahead.
The drivetrain generates 2,000 horsepower and an impressive 3,700 pound-feet of torque. That's enough grunt to send the One from zero to 60 mph in just 30 seconds when it's fully loaded. To put that figure into perspective, a regular diesel-powered truck performs the same task in approximately a minute.
Of course, the drivetrain, the design, and the specs are purely hypothetical at this point. The Nikola One is merely a concept, and a fully functional prototype hasn't been built -- or at least hasn't been publicly revealed -- as of this writing. Still, that's not stopping Nikola (a firm named after engineer Nikola Tesla) from accepting refundable $1,500 deposits from interested buyers.
At least 7,000 owner-operators and fleet buyers found the Nikola One convincing enough to put down a deposit, according to the company's official Twitter page. In other words, the company raised over $10 million in cash in less than a month. We'll find out if Nikola can walk the walk later this year when it introduces a working prototype.