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