Case Study
Nikola Audio Branding 

Nikola Audio Branding

Automotive, UX Sound Design
Audio UX® worked with Nikola Motors to design an automotive audio user experience for the Nikola Tre BEV.

The Opportunity

The Future of Audio Branding™ for the Fleet of the Future.The Nikola Audio Branding represents the infinite possibility of fearless exploration—the rush of discovery distilled into a unique sound design language. This spirit of expedition embodies each audio moment, driving a sense of curiosity and an aspiration for change.Nikola Tre Bev
Nikola Tre BEV concept.
The Concept

The Planets

We wanted to balance the legacy of the Nikola brand with a feeling of the future that each hydrogen-fuel cell-driven vehicle inspires. To start, we looked to Arizona—Nikola's home base—for clues that we could integrate into the overall feel of the audio design. Initially turning to organic, earthly elements like sand, wind, rocks, and running water to create a soundscape inspired by the desert, we uncovered a deep connection to the feeling of exploration with infinite possibilities and the vast, unknown frontier of outer space.
The Soundscape
The concept makes us look to the stars for inspiration and navigation. Musically, we represent the planets through motifs inspired by Gustav Holst’s work The Planets (which famously inspired John Williams' score for Star Wars). In a literal sense, we employ textural inspiration from our nearest celestial neighbors' atmospheres and surface makeup. Jupiter, for instance, is made mainly of trapped helium, hydrogen, and water. We borrowed these elemental ideas to create unique instruments that feel familiar and otherworldly—a challenge to forge ahead to the unknown.

Automotive Alerts

We developed distinct design patterns for key areas of the audio user experience, composed to create necessary differentiation between vehicle systems and to optimize driver understanding and reaction time.
Incoming Call
Charging Complete
Nikola "N" logo.

Audio Branding Components

These organic elements and thematic motifs are layered and rearranged to create a nuanced sense of place that calls to mind the landscape of Nikola's Arizona desert origins, as much as it does a distant red planet in the vastness of space.
Aeolian Winds
Distant Signals
Martian Taps
Space Throttle
Planetary orbits.
Sonify Your Story™ Audio UX®
Sonify Your Story