'Watercraft's Electric powertrain from Zero Motorcycles'
Nikola Motors buys electric watercraft startup and creates yet another
Nov. 8th 2017 Fred Lambert
Here’s the personal watercraft that Free Form Factory unveiled earlier this
BRANDON LAWLOR GRATIS X1 #1
BRANDON LAWLOR GRATIS X1 #2
GRATIS X1 #2
Nikola Motors hasn’t delivered a product yet, but it is now already
launching its third division. The startup is better known for its electric
and fuel cell truck, but it launched an energy division earlier this year.
Now it is also launching ‘Nikola Powersports’ after buying an electric
We reported on Sacramento-based startup Free Form Factory earlier this year
after they unveiled the Gratis X1, a battery-powered jet ski-like standup
Today, Nikola Motors announced that they bought the company and that Jordan
Darling, founder and CEO of Free Form Factory, will be joining the company
as vice president of Nikola Powersports and will be responsible for both the
watercraft and UTV lineup.
Trevor Milton, Nikola Motors CEO, said about the announcement:
“By April 2018, Nikola will have a production intent sit down personal
watercraft (PWC) that we believe will outperform the top internal combustion
versions on the water and provide up to a five-hour ride time with zero
emissions and far less noise. Nikola Powersport customers can spend the
entire day at the lake without polluting the water, while having the
ultimate fun. By using the Nikola Zero UTV technology, we have shaved years
of the development program for this new PWC and will allow it to fast charge
in as little as 30 minutes,”
Milton’s last comment is interesting because Free Form Factory focuses on
building the actual hull and deck of its watercraft made with an advanced
polymer material that they developed themselves.
For the electric powertrain, they partnered with electric motorcycle maker
Zero Motorcycles. On the other hand, Nikola outsourced the development of
its electric powertrain for its Zero UTV, which has nothing to do with Zero
Motorcycles despite the name.
It’s hard to follow and understand where the core EV technology is here or
if it’s more about combining different expertise in order to offer
electrification products in vehicle segments currently untouched by the
Regardless, it’s fun to follow, especially after Nikola Motor released some
unbelievable specs for the all-electric off-road vehicle.
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