In the ever shifting alternative fuel/zero emission truck business, US startup Nikola Motor has announced they it will refund all deposits for the pre-orders of its electrified trucks within the next 60 days, without the pre-order applicants losing their place in the production line.
The move is seen as a show of strength in the fierce battle with electric truck start up rival Tesla
The company made the announcement via Twitter and has stopped accepting prepayment for the Nikola One and Nikola Two fuel cell trucks. It seems that Nikola is attempting to gain some ground from Tesla with the business change and is bragging about having pre-orders valued at $US8 billion dollars already.
Originally Nikola Motor was commanding a $US1,500 deposit for a pre-order spot in the waiting list for the new trucks, as well as a benefit package including a 72 month leasing contract and unlimited hydrogen fuelling in the USA. The money is now being returned, while the company says the offer and benefits will stand.
Nikola Motor recently announced plans for a 1 billion dollar manufacturing operation for its fuel cell trucks in Buckeye, near Phoenix in Arizona. The construction of the new factory is planned to commence next year.
At the 31st January, Nikola Motor says it held more than 8,000 pre-orders which means that it will be returning around $US12 million in deposits.
Nikola says it plans to release the Nikola One and Nikola Two by 2021 using a new propulsion system developed in cooperation with Bosch .
It says that both electric trucks will have in excess of 735 kW of power and will use 320 kWh lithium-ion batteries. The company claims that with a full tank of hydrogen, the vehicles will have a range of between 1,300 km and 2000 km.