Skip to main content

This turbine-powered electric big rig looks completely awesome, but it doesn’t exist yet

This turbine-powered electric big rig looks completely awesome, but it doesn’t exist yet

Share this story

Nikola Motor Company

A Utah-based maker of electric vehicles by the name of Nikola Motor Company (can't call it "Nikola Tesla Motor Company" for obvious reasons) just announced its first two products today. First is a utilitarian four-wheeler called the Nikola Zero with a claimed range of 125 miles; it's cool, I guess. But the real action is the Nikola One, which I think may be the coolest looking big rig I've ever seen.

You can only do so much with a truck that's designed to haul trailers — it's misshapen by necessity, because you have to attach something to the back of it. But this Nikola One looks legitimately awesome. The claimed specs sound like science fiction: it uses a turbine to keep the 320 kWh battery pack charged, offering 1,200 miles of range between fill-ups. Buyers can choose between multiple versions that use different turbine fuels, and the interior has a giant, Tesla-like touchscreen in the center to control various functions.


But none of this really matters. What you need to know is that this truck looks like the front end of a futuristic cargo pod, which is more than I can say for any truck that's on the road today. The wraparound windshield alone makes it great.

Of course, there's a very, very big catch: neither of these products actually exists. All Nikola really did was announce renders of the Zero and One today, both of which can be reserved on the company's website for $750 and $1,500, respectively. The Zero will cost $42,000, while the One will retail for $375,000. If they ever actually come to market, that is — the road to making EVs is long and littered with failures.

The world's first self-driving big rig