e-Truck builder Nikola goes on the water and off-road
American e-truck manufacturer, Nikola, the alter ego of Tesla in the field of electric semi-trucks, has presented an all electric jet-ski-like watercraft, called WAV, and an electric off-roader, NZT, as part of its Powersports division.
Both were presented at a company event in Scottsdale, Arizona, along the two ‘flagship’ e-trucks that are the core business of the company, the American Nicola Two and the Nikola Tre, intended for Europe.
For these trucks – on hydrogen – Nikola claims to have already about 14 billion dollar of commitments from customers. Among them Anheuser-Bush, the American daughter of the worlds biggest brewer AB InBev, headquartered in Belgium.
They placed an order for 800 Nikola trucks last year. It also ordered 40 battery-powered semi-trucks with Tesla. The latter Tesla promised starting delivering in 2019…
Apart from the truck business, Nikola bought in November 2017 the Sacramento-based start-up Free Form Factory. The latter was one of the first to unveil a battery-powered stand-up jet-ski at that time.
More electric jet-skis like waterscooters showed up on different places in the world later, but non really made it beyond the concept stage yet.
Future of watercraft
In 2017 Nikola Motors CEO, Trevor Milton, promised a battery-powered ‘sit down personal watercraft’ by April 2018. It turned out to be a little optimistic, but one year later it’s there.
Trevor Milton called the electric waterscooter WAV ‘the future of watercraft’. It is powered by a specially for watersports developed, adaptable battery. It has a waterproof 12-inch display, LED headlights and tail lights and even a cruise control.
The WAV should be launched somewhere beginning 2020. Prices are not given yet, but Nikola says it will take reservations from now on.
At the same time a dune buggy-like electric 4×4 was presented, the NZT. An acronym meaning ‘net zero toll’, referring to its zero emissions. The NZT has electric motors on each of its 35 inch wheels for a total of 590 horsepower. That would push it from 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) in 4 seconds.
According to Nicola, it will have a range of 150 miles (240 km) with a 125 kWh battery pack. Apart from a 7-inch screen in the instrument cluster, it has a Tesla-like 13-inch screen, both IP68 waterproof. The NTZ is told to be capable to cross water up to one meter for more than 30 minutes and can tow a 1.500 kg load.
Price of the new off-road toy is set at 80.000 dollar. Production should start in 2021.