It’s not quite the electric vehicle we were expecting from Nikola Motor Company but this rough-and-tumble buggy is actually the American startup’s first product.
It’s called the Nikola Zero, and it’s a pure electric UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) whose battery has a reasonably-sized capacity of 72 kilowatt-hours.
Nikola of course is the company that’s promised to unveil on December 2 an extended-range electric semi truck, which supposedly has already racked up over 7,000 pre-orders.
We have our doubts because within weeks of announcing the truck’s range-extender would be a natural gas-powered turbine, Nikola came out with the announcement that the range-extender would actually be a hydrogen fuel cell stack. We’ll add Nikola also plans to supply its customers with hydrogen it generates itself using solar farms.
Nevertheless, the Zero is here, and it’s real. It’s priced from $37,000 and you can reserve one now at the company’s website.
It has four electric motors that independently power each wheel. The combined output is 520 horsepower and 476 pound-feet of torque and Nikola quotes a range of between 100 and 200 miles. This of course will depend heavily on heavy your right foot is.
The battery is stored in the floor, helping to lower the center of gravity, which is useful if you plan to tackle some serious inclines. Nikola says the vehicle could also be completely submerged and still operated safely, although the company doesn’t recommend you try it.
Compared to the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which starts at almost the same price, the Zero seems expensive. However, its technology provides Nikola with a little more credibility and makes us even more curious to see what the company unveils on December 2.