Perfect for hunting camp!
Fred Lambert, the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek reviewed the all-electric Nikola UTV two years ago. Since then, the Marines have been test-driving it hard, and have submitted required changes before they take delivery.
Here are a few comments regarding the vehicle review by Lambert:
The UTV is especially impressive because they managed to fit a large battery pack with a capacity of up to 125 kWh – more capacity than in any passenger electric car available today. It is offered in several different versions based on the number of motors and the capacity of the battery: 75kWh, 100kWh and 125kWh, and up to 555 hp and 4,900 ft-lbs of torque with four separate electric motors.
What? Did he say 555 hp? Those four separate electric motors go, one on each wheel. How far can it go? Recent design improvements indicate a range of 150 miles per charge.
With the Marines, you know there has to be history and tradition attached to everything, so they’re naming this brute the ‘Nikola Reckless UTV’ after Staff Sgt. Reckless, a decorated war horse that served in the Korean War, carrying ammunition and wounded.
Again, from Fred Lambert’s article:
Andy Christian, Nikola’s director of defense, commented on the launch (via OC Register):
“It is a workhorse with a never-quit attitude. Its unique massive battery allows you to take energy from it and power anything, even a command center. It has an infra-red beam that can be used with night vision and a remote weapons system machine gun that can be controlled by a joystick anywhere in the vehicle. It’s light enough to go on a MV-22 osprey.”
That is all kinds of awesome, and utilitarian. I thought the absence of a combustion engine would make it pretty quiet, but traveling over broken ground there are plenty of squeaks and rattles. No one will be sneaking up on the enemy in one of these, but that’s not the mission anyway. Actually, the mission is “evolving” for the Reckless.
Plug it in where?
The best information I could get on charge time for the massive battery was 80 percent charge in two hours with the DC charge system, or 15 hrs. using a 240v system.
Speaking of mission, the wish list sent over from Quantico to the Nikola engineers included desert tires, high clearance control arms, clutch improvement, and floorboard protection. When the Marines were testing it in Australia, sticks managed to penetrate the plastic floorboards. The engineers have to balance these add-ons against weight specifications. Give here, take from somewhere else.
I don’t have any info on the cost per vehicle for the Marines, but the civilian version will be starting at $80 thousand dollars. If you’re anticipating a big lotto win, you can go to the Nikola website and preorder one. They will begin production in 2021.
First video presents field testing info here
Second video gives detailed walkaround here
I can’t wait for these UTV’s to hit the military surplus market. I bet I’ll be able to grab one for a cool $50 thousand! No 50 cal though…right?
By the way, if you’re interested in a video on the civilian version, look here.
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David Brockett is a Vietnam Veteran and former Marine aviator. He writes fiction and historical fiction, as well as articles on politics, religion, gun-rights, preparedness, and current events.
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