Many were shocked by the reported 400,000 reservations (later adjusted to 373,000) Tesla Motors received for its upcoming entry-level Tesla Model 3. Tesla, however, receives lots of press and has a growing network of company stores, service centers, and charging stations, and can expect such numbers.
The less famous Nikola Motor Company, meanwhile, which debuted in May, now says it has 7,000+ pre-orders worth $2.3 billion for its Nikola One electric truck, reports Electrek. Nikola, however, hasn’t yet shown a concept vehicle and the first prototype isn’t scheduled for display until December 2016.
So far all the company has shown are graphical renderings and feature lists for two vehicles. The Nikola One is the long-haul truck that has gotten the most attention. A UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) called the Nikola Zero is also on the Nikola website and was mentioned during the May launch, but no information is available about deposits made so far.
The Nikola One truck is slated to have a range of up to 1,200 miles, powered first by its 320kWh lithium battery pack and then fueling a turbine that recharges the battery pack via a 150-gallon natural-gas tank, referred to as a range extender. A key to the success of the Nikola One will be establishing a nationwide network of natural-gas refilling stations.
“Our technology is 10-15 years ahead of any other OEM in fuel efficiencies, MPG and emissions,” Nikola’s founder and CEO, Trevor Milton, said in a release this morning. “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.”
The reservation deposit amount is $1,500, which means that Nikola is presently holding at least $10.5 million in deposits, which the company says are refundable.
Nikola Motor is not connected to Tesla Motors, although both have announced ground-breaking electric vehicles and both are apparently named after inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla.