While Nikola Motor is better known for its electric hydrogen semi truck and now its new energy division, they are also working on an all-electric UTV for off-roading called ‘Nikola Zero’.

Today, they released updated production specs, which would be impressive in a luxury electric car but they are simply unbelievable in a UTV.

Trevor Milton, Nikola’s CEO, said about the new announcement:

“The Nikola Zero will be the first UTV to come with optional Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS), stability control, anti-roll-over, traction control and torque vectoring. Normally these options are reserved for high-end sports cars and not normally found in UTVs. We have worked hard to make these UTVs street legal, and in many states, you may be able to drive the Nikola Zero UTV to work,”

The company says that the Nikola Zero will start at $35,000 and be offered with two performance options; 415 HP & 3,675 . lbs. of torque and 555 HP & 4,900 . lbs. of torque. The UTV will also have three battery options: 75 kWh, 100 kWh and 125 kWh for up to 200 miles of range in 4×4 o-road mode.

Earlier this year, they unveiled a prototype and today they released renderings of the production version:

It will come with several standard features and equipment for the base $35,000 model:

  • 100% electric power steering
  • 20” front and rear suspension travel, 14” ground clearance and 62” wide frame
  • Four independent electric motors
  • 32” tires, bead lock wheels, tow hitch
  • over-the-air soware updating
  • 10” infotainment center display and 7” instrument cluster
  • Multiple color options
  • IP 67 waterproofing
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Custom seats
  • Two-year warranty.

And several optional features are offered for a premium:

  • 555 HP upgrade
  • Street legal package (some states)
  • 4×4 torque vectoring system, ABS, anti-roll protection, traction control, front and rear
  • 4500 lb. winches
  • factory audio system
  • 15 kW power export at 110/220V
  • 4kW Solar 400-volt DC Charger
  • LED interior lighting
  • rider profiles
  • Front windshield
  • Mirrors
  • Cameras
  • four-year extended warranty package

Electrek’s Take

On paper, the Nikola Zero looks virtually perfect. It’s clearly on the expensive side for a UTV, but the performance are truly unmatched.

They are talking about a 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.9 seconds with four passengers inside the vehicle.

With this said, I have my doubts.

When they revealed their prototype, they claimed it had a 72 kWh battery pack and I already had my doubts about such a large battery pack fitting in a small vehicle, but now they are claiming they can fit a battery pack with a capacity of up to 125 kWh.

Tesla has one of the highest energy density packs in EVs today and yet, CEO Elon Musk describes fitting 100 kWh of energy capacity in the much bigger Model S/X pack as “fitting 11 pounds in a 10-pound bag”.

Even if the vehicle is aimed at the off-road market, Nikola Motor will have to deliver solid pack-level safety and cooling, which can take a lot of space.

They say that they are planning test drives at dealerships in December and start taking orders in January. I suppose we will see how they managed that in just a few months.

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