Nikola, Tesla, Nikola Tesla? Confused Yet? It appears that Nikola Motors, an automaker taking the first name of Nikola Tesla may be out to get Tesla Motors. The play on names for these electric automakers is odd, but no one can deny their innovative design prowess. Nikola is aiming to be the number one electric truck manufacturer in the world. Nikola recently announced their first line of electric vehicles. Their semi-electric truck has big ambitions, offering a range of up to 1,200 miles in a single charge. Oh, and it’s a semi-truck. Will this “Tesla” type truck bring production woes to Volvo, Renault, and Mercedes? Or will Volvo, Renault, and Mercedes head back to the design board?
The Nikola Motors Mission
The Nikola One is a semi-electric semi-truck with an 800-1,200 mile range on a single charge and tank of gas. This could revolutionize the shipping industry. It boasts a 320 kWh engine. It is still simply on paper, but its launch could bring some enthusiasm. As well as unwanted attention from the oil industry. Soon truckers will be able to drive from New York to Florida while burning clean energy. There is some fuel involved, but much less than the thousands of semi-trucks currently on the road. It can also go from 0 to 60 mph in 30 seconds, with a maximum speed of 65 mph uphill.
Mercedes, Volvo, and Renault Future
The electric car race may be extending to semi-trucks. It is a challenging endeavor, since the heavy loads could impede electric power capabilities. Most of the future’s semi-trucks may only have semi-electric engines for those long hauls Mercedes may not go quietly. They announced a fully autonomous semi-truck for 2025. The Mercedes “Future Truck 2025” will be equipped with the “Highway Pilot” automated system. Volvo is also experimenting. The Volvo “Mean Green” hybrid semi-truck broke two world records in 2012. Volvo could have something new on their design table shortly. Renault has been testing the Renault Midlum as well. The Renault Midlum may be ways off, but they are trying.
Will Tesla Launch a Semi?
It would be interesting to see Tesla join in the electric semi-truck race. It is hard to believe that Elon Musk hasn’t entertained the idea. However, he may be a bit too busy trying to land humans on Mars. There is also the issue of price. The Nikola One has an estimated MSRP of $350,00 to $415,000. The Tesla Model S can cost in upwards of $100,000 depending on engine and features. It would be difficult to imagine a Tesla semi-truck costing anything less than a million. Maybe Mercedes and Tesla can team up?