The Nikola Motor Company, a world leader in both pure electric and hydrogen electric powertrains for semi-trucks, unveiled an all electric personal watercraft – the WAV – at its Nikola World 2019 presentations April 17.
There have been rumours of something like this coming since Nikola purchased California watersport company Free Form Factory in November of 2017. In March of that year Free Form had launched the Gratis X1, the world’s first electric jetski.
At purchase time Nikola CEO Trevor Milton said they were working to have something that would “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.”
The Nikola WAV (Water Adventure Vehicle) announced last week is slated for a 2020 launch. The machine is ‘inspired by the design of superbikes’ and promises to showcase a new battery architecture Nikola has developed for watercraft.
When it does come to market, the WAV will be competing with other PWC (Personal WaterCraft) in development like the Quadrofoil, which just received 3€ in funding or the Narke Elektrojet, winner of the Innovation Award at the Budapest Boat Show.
The WAV sports a 12-inch, 4K video display in the dashboard, LED lights in the front and back, cruise control…with all electronics waterproofed and able to withstand being submerged to a depth of 1.5 meters (4.9 ft) for half an hour.
The company also introduced an electric all-terrain vehicle, the NZT, at Nikola World, and there are crossover, shared technologies between the two newcomers.
Jordan Darling, the vice president of Nikola’s powersports division, said that the company flipped the usual design process on its ears. “We’re no longer designing the ergonomics around the powertrain,” Darling said. “We’re designing the ergonomics and making the powertrain fit within. ”
There is no price yet for the WAV, but reservations can be made (no down payment) on the company’s website.