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Electric Nikola One truck officially launched

US start-up Nikola has officially unveiled the Nikola One model, a fully electric heavy-duty truck powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

The final design of the Nikola One was revealed by Nikola founder and CEO, Trevor Milton, at a function in Salt Lake City last week.

“We are extremely excited to finally show off the Nikola One to the public for the first time,” Milton said.

“There are many out there that wondered if we would deliver, but today we proudly show off the most advanced semi-truck ever built.

At the launch event, Milton admitted that development of the long-awaited vehicle had been a difficult, but important process that would help advance the trucking industry at large.

"The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles,” he said, explaining his small company could take the chances on a revolutionary product that a large corporation could not.

“This truck will come to market. That I can guarantee."

The long-haul Nikola One – a day cab version dubbed Nikola Two is also planned, see second image – utilises a drivetrain powered by high-density lithium batteries, with energy supplied by a hydrogen fuel cell that should give it a range of up to 1,200 miles (1,900km).

The three-axle truck will ride on a fully independent suspension supplied by Meritor, Milton added.

As part of the launch, Nikola also presented a leasing program that will include unlimited hydrogen fuel, warranty and scheduled maintenance over a 72-month term. To date, the company has reportedly accepted reservations totalling nearly $3 billion (A$4.04 billion) in future orders.

While the first 5,000 units or so will be produced by a Tennessee-based manufacturing firm, Nikola is reportedly planning to build its own “world-class advanced manufacturing facility in the near future. According to Milton, the location of the facility will be determined in the first half of 2017.

Milton also unveiled Nikola’s plan for a network of hydrogen fuelling stations across the US and Canada, construction of which is set to begin in January 2018.

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