What it is: A hybrid, zero-emissions truck built for long distances
When you'll see one: The company's already taking deposits ahead of its official reveal in December 2016.
The Nikola One is driven by electric motors, but it's actually a hybrid that's more like a BMW i3 than a Tesla. The batteries are charged by a CNG-powered turbine, which means it can travel up to 1,200 miles without stopping, all while spitting out zero emissions. Unlike a plug-in EV that requires a lengthy charge, the Nikola is good to go after a quick CNG fill-up.
If the finished product delivers anywhere close to its promises on economy and emissions, it's pretty revolutionary. Big rigs are among the largest polluters on the road, so the more Nikola tractors out there, the better it is for air quality.
Also hugely important: the economics of running a vehicle like this. With greatly reduced running costs, manufacturers will be able to get their raw materials more cheaply, and retailers will spend less money getting the finished goods to the store. While some of those savings will no doubt be swallowed up in the name of corporate profit, some will wind up in your pocket by way of cheaper goods. You won't have to do a thing to reap the benefits of this truck and others like it.