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The new Nikola Motor Company has taken aim at some recently-announced electric truck plans with its Nikola One prototype, first revealed through renderings in May and scheduled for release this December.

In a press release this week, Nikola founder and CEO, Trevor Milton, took a swipe at competitors – like Tesla and Mercedes-Benz – that are planning electric-powered heavy vehicles, saying the One isn’t restricted by battery-only range and long charging times.

“While other companies have recently announced battery-powered semi trucks, those trucks are restricted to a range of only a couple hundred miles and four to eight hours of charging between stops,” he said.

“Nikola has engineered the holy grail of the trucking industry. We are not aware of any zero-emission truck in the world that can haul 80,000 pounds (36.3 tonnes) more than 1000 miles (1600km) and do it without stopping.”

“The Nikola One requires only 15 minutes of downtime before heading out for the next 1000 miles,” he added.

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With a 250kW motor behind each of its six wheels, the Nikola One claims 1491kW of power and 5016Nm of torque.

Helping to achieve the claimed 1600-kilometre range is an on-board turbine range extender, which can run on compressed natural gas.

Nikola has already opened the order books for its battery-powered semi-trailer ahead of the December launch, with reservations costing US$1500 ($1970).

The Nikola One truck will cost between US$4000 ($5253) and US$5000 ($6566) per month on a leasing program, depending on configuration and options the customer chooses.

Adding to the deal is a million miles (1.6 million kilometres) of free fuel under the lease, which the company claims could offset 100 per cent of the monthly cost.

Autodesk VRED Design 2016

By comparison, the average diesel-powered semi uses around US$400,000 ($525,300) in fuel and can cost over US$100,000 ($131,326) in maintenance costs over 1.6 million kilometres.

The Nikola One launches in the US on 2 December.

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