CORRECTED — Nikola Motor Company will unveil its electric Class 8 tractor tonight at a press event at the company's Salt Lake City headquarters. The event will be live-streamed on the Nikola website beginning at 7:45 p.m. CST.
Nikola made a splash earlier this year when it announced it had a working prototype zero-emissions Class 8 tractor that could be spec'ed for long-haul commercial applications.
The company said the Nikola One model that will be unveiled the evening of Dec. 1 is a continuation of that project, featuring a fully electric drivetrain powered by high-density lithium batteries. Energy is supplied on-the-go by a hydrogen fuel cell, which the company said will give the new truck a range of 800 to 1,200 miles while delivering over 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 ft. lbs. of torque– which the company noted is nearly double that of any tractor on the road.
A new Nikola One leasing program will also be officially announced tonight, offering customers unlimited hydrogen fuel, warranty and scheduled maintenance during a 72-month term. The company said that, as of August, it had received more than 7,000 pre-orders for the vehicle.
Nikola will also announce a new strategic partnership with Ryder System, which will be the exclusive nationwide distribution and maintenance provider for new Nikola truck models.
A manufacturing facility to produce the new all-electric trucks will not be finalized until sometime next year. However, Nikola founder and CEO Trevor Milton said the company is currently in discussions with several states and is seeking a "partner" dedicated to helping it reduce U.S. dependence on fossil fuels while advancing green technology in the trucking industry.
Along with those longer-range goals, Milton will also unveil Nikola’s plan for a network of hydrogen fueling stations across the U.S. and Canada with construction slated to begin before January 2018.
“We are extremely excited to finally show off the Nikola One to the public for the first time,” Milton said. “There are many out there that wondered if we would deliver, but today we proudly show off the most advanced semi-truck ever built. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have one of the best brands in America, Ryder, as our trusted partner providing nationwide sales, service and warranty for Nikola Motor Company.”
Ryder’s President of Global Fleet Management Solutions Dennis Cooke said, “We commend Nikola for its leadership in zero-emission vehicles, and for its decision to partner with Ryder as their exclusive nationwide distribution and maintenance provider. This relationship is key to expanding our advanced vehicle technology portfolio of innovative solutions. Ryder continually monitors emerging fleet technologies and seeks to establish relationships with companies that are leading innovation within the commercial transportation industry.”
In addition to Ryder System’s national coverage, Thompson Machinery, a Caterpillar dealer and an early investor in Nikola Motor Company, will also offer sales and service in Tennessee and Mississippi.
HDT will have more on this story, including a report from Salt Lake City tomorrow.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Nikola claimed nearly $3 million in future orders when the number should have been $3 billion. The quoted amount is based on potentially fulfilled orders when the vehicle goes into production, not the total amount received from pre-orders. Because the monetary value is speculative, we replaced it with an older claim of around 7,000 pre-orders.