New company says it collected orders for 7,000 big rigs in one month.

By: Sebastian Blanco

There's a distinct method to the madness that we see in Tweets by the Nikola Motor Company, the company that cleverly uses the first name of the man made (most recently) famous by Tesla Motors. Tagging CEO Elon Musk is a favorite trick. The overall tone is to just generally associate the new Nikola Motors with the popular electric vehicle company.

Take, for example, the company's latest Tweet:

We'll break down the $2.3 billion figure in a second. But first, let's look at this, which carried a mention of the 18650 cells used in the pack. Of course, hey, guess what, those are the same kinds of cells that Tesla uses.

Now, back to that 2.3 billion dollars. Last month, Nikola Motors revealed itself with the announcement of two new plug-in vehicles: a semi-truck with a natural gas-electric hybrid system called the Nikola One and the off-road Nikola Zero UTV. You read all about those vehicles here. The $2.3 billion refers to pre-orders for the One semi. But, as we reported a month ago, a pre-order for the One is just $1,500 and is fully refundable. Today's press release says that Nikola Motor Company has received 7,000 pre-orders, which would be around $10.5 million, not $2.3 billion. We asked, and Nikola said that it's using the final cost of the trucks, not just the pre-order dollars, to reach the $2.3 billion. Nikola Motors originally said that the One semi will cost $375,000 (and 7,000 purchases at that price would be around $2.6 billion, but who's counting?) but today clarified that each truck has a "value of $300,000 to $400,000."

Nikola says that it will show off a working prototype of the semi on December 2nd in Utah.


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