Automotive

Nikola Motor takes on Tesla with battery-electric versions of its trucks

Nikola Motor takes on Tesla wi...
Nikola Motor Company has revealed that battery-electric versions of its Two (pictured) and Tre hydrogen fuel cell trucks will go into production
Nikola Motor Company has revealed that battery-electric versions of its Two (pictured) and Tre hydrogen fuel cell trucks will go into production
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Nikola Motor Company has revealed that battery-electric versions of its Two (pictured) and Tre hydrogen fuel cell trucks will go into production
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Nikola Motor Company has revealed that battery-electric versions of its Two (pictured) and Tre hydrogen fuel cell trucks will go into production

The Nikola Motor Company has so far been concentrating its pre-production efforts on hydrogen fuel cell trucking – in the shape of the One, Two and Tre. But a tweet late last week confirmed that the company is heading into shorter haul electric cargo transport territory with the announcement of battery electric versions of the Nikola Two and Tre.

News that Nikola's CEO will be detailing the company's battery-electric trucking plans at Nikola World in April was posted on Twitter on Friday. The new all-electric vehicles will be additions to the company's product catalog, with the hydrogen fuel cell versions targeted at long haul cargo transporters while the battery-electric models take care of shorter trips – such as "inner cities and non weight sensitive applications."

The battery-electric Two and Tre trucks will be made available with 500 kWh, 750 kWh and 1,000 kWh options. The latter is reckoned good for up to 400 miles (644 km) per charge, using around 2.25 kWh per mile in "real weather" conditions, and includes some 69,000 Li-ion (21700) cells.

The Two is a day cab version of the One, and is designed for North and South American buyers. With its flat stubby nose, the Tre is destined for Europe, Asia and Australia. Hydrogen-electric models are promised to roll for up to 1,200 miles (1,930 kg) and take only 15 minutes to refuel, whereas the battery-electrics are likely to have much longer recharge times and, as stated above, much shorter ranges.

Though the battery electrics will be about 5,000 lb (2,270 kg) heavier than the same truck running on hydrogen fuel cells, the company is ultimately aiming to rid the roads of diesel cargo movement chokers rather than directly compete with other manufacturers – saying "ICE is enemy, not hydrogen or BEV."

More details will doubtless emerge at the official launch in Scottsdale, Arizona, on April 16/17 at Nikola World.

Source: Nikola (Twitter)

6 comments
guzmanchinky
Someday all will be electric. Battery tech is surging forward. I can't wait.
f8lee
Yup. And then a decade later the histrionics about the heavy metals leaching into the aquifer from millions of discarded battery cells (the ones that are loaded by the thousand into every electric vehicle's battery packs) will lead to yet another round of lunacy. One thing that surprises me about electric trucks (any brand) is that they don't design in a swappable battery pack concept. In other words, when the short-haul truck pulls intot he loading bay, why not use a forklift to swap the discharged pack with a freshly charged one so the truck can take off immediately?
Mr T
Sorry, but Nikola is looking more like a scam every day, lots of promises, nothing to show for it, meanwhile many other companies are already producing BEV trucks, with Tesla getting ready to release the semi (they have had at least 2 semis doing regular delivery runs for around a year now). If Nikola ever do manufacture something, it will be way too late and not competitive.
Martin Winlow
A/ There is relatively little toxic matter in EV batteries - way less of an issue than the cataclysmic effects of the oil industry already is let alone what it may cause in the future - and... B/ Why will they be thrown away when 1/ they are full of eminently recyclable materials and 2/ once their capacity has declined to the point where they are no use for EVs (typically 70% of new capacity), they can be used for stationary storage perhaps for decades...?
Martin Winlow
Scam or no, it was pretty darn obvious that they were never going to succeed with H2 fuel cell technology!
Signguy
Anybody else find it funny that Nikola is competing with Tesla; Nikola Tesla?!