Nikola is taking on Tesla with two battery-electric semi-trucks

11 February 2019 - 17:44 By AFP Relaxnews
The hydrogen-electric Nikola Tre
The hydrogen-electric Nikola Tre
Image: Supplied

Following in the sustainable-semi steps of Tesla, Volvo, and Cummins, Nikola Motor Company recently announced that it, too, is working on two new electric semi-trucks that will be announced in April.

This past week, American hybrid truck company Nikola Motor Company announced that it is finally joining the rest of the automotive industry in the battery-electric powertrain revolution. According to a tweet published last week, company CEO Trevor Milton will be announcing BEV versions of the Nikola Two and Nikola Tre trucks but not the Nikola One – that model will remain a FCV only, meaning that it will be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell instead of a battery.

Already, hydrogen-powered iterations of the Nikola Two and Tre have reached the prototype stage, and example models will be on display at Nikola World 2019.

According to the tweet, the BEV versions of both trucks with be available in 500kWh, 750kWh and 1MWh options, which owners can select based on their need. In general, the company says that hydrogen is better for those long hauls, whereas BEV will be ideal for short hauls.

Back in November, the company announced that a prototype version of the FCV Tre will be on display at Nikola World 2019 in April equipped with, "redundant braking, redundant steering, redundant 800Vdc batteries and a redundant 120 kW hydrogen fuel cell, all necessary for true level 5 autonomy." The FCV Two will be demonstrated at the event pulling loaded trailers.

Testing for these hydrogen-powered models is expected to begin in Europe next year with production for the European and US market beginning in 2022-2023. Details regarding the BEV lineup are expected to be announced in April.

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