This comparison between Tesla Semi and Nikola One will make you fall in-love with E-trucks

As our society understands the importance of “going green,” big corporations are competing in the advancement and realization of building vehicles, which don’t need diesel fuel to operate. Up until now, many electric and hybrid cars have been developed and introduced to the public by various automobile manufacturers, but what we didn’t expect is, that this would become possible for bigger vehicles than cars – in particular – trucks.

These new environment-friendly trucks will cause a considerable impact not only for CDL drivers but for owner operators as well.

Large and medium companies, which possess a vast fleet, will profit immensely, since the manufacturers promise competitive prices, especially when compared to the operational costs of a diesel truck. But this is not what we are doing here. The table below shows the main differences between a Tesla Semi and Nikola One truck.

Although Tesla unveiled their prototype of Tesla Semi, a fully electric truck, at Nov. 16, Nikola Motor Company, combined with German giant Bosch, has displayed their hydrogen-electric lorry almost a year ago – on Dec. 01, 2016. Let’s see what both manufacturers have to offer:

Cab comparison


E-Truck model Nikola ONE Tesla Semi
Consumption type Hydrogen powered, 1 million miles free hydrogen fuel Electricity, less than 2 kWh/mile
Production Begin 2020 (testing for fleets begins by mid-2018) 2019
Mile Range 800 – 1,200 miles 300 – 500 miles
Batteries 320 kWh Battery Still unclear


18,000 – 21,000 lbs Still unclear
Payload Capacity


65,000 lbs 80,000 lbs
Horsepower 1,000 Still unclear


1 Million miles + 1 Million miles +
Charging Stations


Scheduled to be ready by 2020 Mega-chargers Worldwide

(to be build, still unclear where/when)

Refill time 15 minutes 400 miles of Range in 30 minutes
Total Operating Cost (compared to Diesel Truck) 50{06e1cb09d3d289234b1db2b95ea92b6dc098ad25a5acb6e062c4ae0fabcaadb9} less than Diesel 20{06e1cb09d3d289234b1db2b95ea92b6dc098ad25a5acb6e062c4ae0fabcaadb9} less than Diesel
Acceleration (0-60, max. gross weight) 30 seconds (65,000lbs) 20 seconds(80,000lbs)
Top Speed up Hills (at max. gross weight) 65mph 65 mph
Regenerative Braking Yes Yes
Team Driver Yes No


Two Full Size Mattresses No
Front Suspension


Independent Independent
Enhanced Autopilot as Standard


No Yes
Automatic Lane Keeping


No Yes
Forward Collision Warning


No Yes
Windshield Panoramic (standard glass or unspecified glass type) Panoramic, Thermo nuclear explosion-proof glass
Estimated Price $375,000 $150,000 (300 mile range) – $180,000 (500 mile range)
Reservation Price


$ 1,500 $20,000


As we can see in the table above, there are some significant differences between the Tesla Semi and Nikola One. The concepts of the lorries differ altogether, as the Tesla Semi is to be perceived as a “day truck,” while Nikola One is ideal for Team OTR. Let’s regard some additional features to both E-trucks.

Both exteriors look innovative. Tesla uses in-cab monitors instead the traditional mirrors.


Tesla Semi:


  • Touch screens equipped on both sides, which contribute to blind-spot and navigation control
  • Absolutely flat bottom of the truck, aiding in better aerodynamics
  • Drive Coefficient of36
  • 4 Independent Motors
  • Independent motors on each wheel, dynamically adjusting the torque on the wheels, making jackknifing impossible
  • Tesla guarantees low electricity rates – 7¢ /kWh electricity price
  • The E-truck would “take care” of the driver in case of a medical emergency, with its enhanced autopilot, and call an ambulance if the driver becomes unresponsive
  • Semi is connected to Tesla Mobile device, offering remote diagnostics, predictive maintenance, location tracking, and communication with dispatch


Nikola One:


  • 6×4 four-wheel-drive – pulling and pushing simultaneously
  • 250ft Stopping Distance at max. Weight
  • Torque Vectoring
  • Mid-cap entry with a sliding door, designed to reduce driver injuries
  • Lightest weight standard duty fifth wheel
  • Two 21 inch touchscreens aiding in the monitoring of range, cabin controls, navigation, battery levels, and wheel torques
  • Advanced freight software indicating the Nikola Hydrogen Stations and Nikola Service Centers located along the route
  • 30 {06e1cb09d3d289234b1db2b95ea92b6dc098ad25a5acb6e062c4ae0fabcaadb9} more cab space
  • Some of the cab-luxuries include:
  • Full-Size Fridge and Freezer
  • Big Closet
  • Microwave
  • Computer Desk
  • Climate Control
  • Wifi and 4G LTE Internet
  • Integrated Apple TV
  • 12V and 110V Outlets
  • 40-inch Curved LED 4K TV


There are some massive distinctions between both E-freighters.

Although Tesla is known for its luxurious design and equipment of their vehicles, Nikola Motor Company is stepping up the game. There is much more information introduced to the public about the Nikola One and its features, which include comfort and extravagance unknown to CDL drivers and fleet owners. We are yet to find out about many technicalities regarding Tesla Semi, because the operational features, such as the battery, are still not addressed and backed up with exact numbers (weight, cost, etc.)

Additionally, distance range and price will most likely be the key factors, which owner-operators regard when deciding between both E-trucks.


Nikola Motor Company tweeted about 7,000 truck pre-orders in one month, on Jun. 13, 2016, whereas Tesla’s total number of pre-orders is still unclear.

All we know is – there are worldwide-known brands and industry giants, which already pre-ordered Tesla Semi. Some of them include – Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, Walmart, DHL, Ryder, JK Moving, and Loblaw. Numbers are expected to rise for both E-automobile manufacturers, as global leading-market brands and corporations concentrate on the importance of being environment-friendly, as well as profit increase when they adopt electric vehicles into their fleets.

Our super-smart matching system – CDL Advisor – will also list job offers from innovative, environment-caring companies with E-truck fleets, because diversity and modernization are fundamental in this rapidly-changing industry.


0 comment