Frequently Asked Questions
What does Nikola do?
Nikola was designed to monitor and protect your Tesla. Nikola also provides trip tracking, enhanced car controls, Siri Shortcuts, and more. You can explore all of our benefits in more detail on the
Nikola website and the Tesla Show podcast episode
109 – Interview with Nikola founder David Hodge if you'd like to learn more!
Is Nikola secure?
Security was top of mind in the architecting of Nikola, and Nikola follows industry best-practices. For example, Nikola never sees or stores your password. Instead, Nikola stores an access token that is used to access the vehicle to acquire data. This is the same token used to take actions on the car like turning on the AC or honking the horn, at the user's request. Additionally all sensitive communication with Nikola’s servers is done over HTTPS connections.
Additionally if you ever want to revoke Nikola’s access, you can contact us or change your Tesla password, which automatically revokes the access of all third party apps, including Nikola. Feel free to email any further questions and concerns to
firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’d be happy to answer them. Your data is not for sale.
How do I alter or cancel my Nikola subscription?
Nikola Subscriptions are maintained either by Apple (on the App Store) or Stripe (signed up via a link shared from Nikola).
For subscriptions maintained via Apple:
Apple doesn’t allow us to change your subscription settings, but you can change or discontinue your subscription by following
For subscriptions maintained via Stripe:
The App Store doesn't allow us to include any reference to an outside subscription within the Nikola app at this time. The best way to change or discontinue your subscription is to email us at
email@example.com before your renewal.
Is there an option to purchase Nikola for a one-time fee?
Yes! We offer a lifetime subscription to Nikola and all of it’s features for one car for $195 that you can access
here. After subscribing, send us an email at
firstname.lastname@example.org so we can confirm that your account is upgraded to lifetime access!
Does Nikola keep my car awake?
Nikola was engineered to treat your vehicle and its battery with care. Nikola will not keep your vehicle awake unnecessarily. In addition, Nikola is designed to not to wake your car while it is sleeping.
How are the controls so fast?
Instead of having your phone try to reach the car directly, we let our fast servers do the work. Your phone simply sends our servers a small fast message that you want to unlock the car and we take it from there.
I'm frequently logged out. What do I do?
Please contact us at
email@example.com and we will investigate.
How do I set up a widget?
Setting up a Nikola widget is simple, and just like setting up any other widget on your iPhone! You can see how to set up a widget on iOS
The image of my vehicle is incorrect, can you fix it?
Yes! Please let send us an image of what you’re seeing in Nikola and what you see in the Tesla app and we’ll investigate.
What is Ghost Drain?
Ghost drain refers to the amount of battery/range lost while a car is idle. Nikola does not cause noticeable ghost drain.
Who makes Nikola?
Nikola was built by a former Apple engineer, designed by a former Apple designer, and was engineered with privacy in mind.
David Hodge is a long-time transportation enthusiast, and was a founder and CEO of Embark, a transportation app with millions of users that was acquired by Apple. At Apple, David was an engineering leader during the evolution of Apple Maps, where he helped launch Transit, Nearby, Maps on Apple Watch and more. David built Nikola because he loves his Tesla, and when friends asked for a copy of Nikola, he decided to put it on the App Store.
What do the colors on the driving map mean?
The colors on the driving map indicate your driving efficiency throughout the trip. Green indicates the best efficiency, while blue indicates average efficiency and red indicates poorer driving efficiency. It’s a great tool to track where you're flooring it, and a fun visual to distinguish different parts of your trip.
What information does Nikola have access to?
Nikola uses Tesla’s API to access controls and collect useful data from the car, such as driving and charging statistics. This is how Nikola tracks trip history, aggregates useful statistics, monitors the status of the car, and provides controls through Siri. However, we are committed to not accessing information that isn’t fundamental to the functionality of the app, meaning Nikola does not have access to private information like your Tesla account password. Your data is not for sale.
What happens when I sell my Tesla?
Your Nikola account is linked to your Tesla account. Upon removal of the car from your Tesla account, Nikola will have its access removed as well. If you’re planning on purchasing another Tesla, Nikola will be able to switch over seamlessly to your new car as soon as it is linked to your Tesla account.
Can I join the Nikola TestFlight program?
Drop us an email at
firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you if we have room.
What effect does Nikola have on my battery?
Nikola is built to be the best-behaved monitoring app for your Tesla and should not have a noticeable affect on your battery. A lot of thought and engineering went into designing Nikola to not wake up the car or keep it awake unnecessarily.
Does Siri integrate with Nikola?
Siri and Nikola are now best friends! You can ask Siri to unlock your car, open your trunk, and more! You can find all of our Siri Shortcut functionality in the controls screen on the app, and feel free to contact us if you want more ideas about what’s possible with Siri and how we use it.
Can I use Nikola with a fleet of Teslas / for business operations?
Absolutely, please email us at
nikolaapp.com and we'll add you to our fleet program.