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Nikola Motors buys electric watercraft startup and creates yet another division

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 watercraft startup.

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 watercraft.

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,”

Here’s the personal watercraft that Free Form Factory unveiled earlier this year:

Electrek’s Take

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 battery revolution.

Regardless, it’s fun to follow, especially after Nikola Motor released some unbelievable specs for the all-electric off-road vehicle.

What do you guys think? Fun new EVs or vaporware? Let us know in the comment section below.

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