Monday, January 22, 2018

Nikola Motor Co. unveils new truck with fully electric drivetrain


Friday, December 2, 2016
by The Trucker News Services

Nikola Motor Co. unveiled its new Class 8 truck with a fully electric drivetrain at an event in Salt Lake City Thursday night. The truck was adorned with the logo of U.S. Xpress, which has reserved some of the trucks for future delivery. (Courtesy: NIKOLA MOTOR CO.)
Nikola Motor Co. unveiled its new Class 8 truck with a fully electric drivetrain at an event in Salt Lake City Thursday night. The truck was adorned with the logo of U.S. Xpress, which has reserved some of the trucks for future delivery. (Courtesy: NIKOLA MOTOR CO.)

SALT LAKE CITY — Nikola Motor Co. unveiled its highly anticipated Nikola One electric semi Thursday night at an invitation-only event in its Salt Lake City headquarters that Nikola officials say was attended by more than 600 members of the media, industry partners, customers and government leaders.

The Nikola One utilizes a fully electric drivetrain powered by high-density lithium batteries. Energy is supplied on-the-go by a hydrogen fuel cell, giving the Nikola One a range of 800-1,200 miles while delivering more than 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 ft. lbs. of torque — nearly double that of any semi on the road, according to Nikola Founder and CEO Trevor Milton.

“Never has a production model Class 8 truck achieved best-in-class fuel efficiency while also dramatically improving performance over its diesel competition — all with zero-emissions,” Milton said.

The Nikola One leasing program will include unlimited hydrogen fuel, warranty and scheduled maintenance during a 72-month term.

To date, Nikola has accepted reservations totaling nearly $3 billion dollars in future orders, including enough orders from U.S. Xpress that the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based carrier’s company logo emblazoned the truck unveiled Thursday.

“Nikola will build a world-class advanced manufacturing facility which will create thousands of new jobs,” Milton said.

Nikola is currently in discussion with several states to decide who to partner with in its effort to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels, advance green energy and revolutionize the trucking industry, Milton said, adding that the location of the Nikola Motor manufacturing facility will be determined in the first half of 2017.

At that launch event, Milton will also unveil Nikola’s plan for a network of Nikola hydrogen fueling stations across the U.S. and Canada.

Nikola plans to begin construction of its hydrogen fueling stations in January 2018.

The OEM also announced that Ryder System would be its exclusive nationwide distribution and maintenance provider.

Ryder has a network of over 800 service locations in North America today.

“We are extremely excited to finally show off the Nikola One to the public for the first time,” Milton said. “There are many out there that wondered if we would deliver, but today we proudly show off the most advanced semi-truck ever built. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have one of the best brands in America, Ryder, as our trusted partner providing nationwide sales, service and warranty for Nikola.”

Ryder President of Global Fleet Management Solutions Dennis Cooke commended Nikola for its leadership in zero emission vehicles, and for its decision to partner with Ryder as its exclusive nationwide distribution and maintenance provider.

“This relationship is key to expanding our advanced vehicle technology portfolio of innovative solutions,” Cooke said. “Ryder continually monitors emerging fleet technologies and seeks to establish relationships with companies that are leading innovation within the commercial transportation industry.”

In addition to Ryder System’s national coverage, Thompson Machinery, a Caterpillar dealer and an early investor in Nikola Motor Company, will also offer sales and service in Tennessee and Mississippi.

Nikola also unveiled it plans for a 1,000 -lb., 107 kWh battery pack for its electric UTV, called the Nikola Zero.

“Our battery engineers have made major advances in storage and cooling,” Milton said. “We believe our lithium battery packs are more energy dense and weigh less than any available vehicle production pack per kWh. This new battery pack should give our UTV over 300 miles of range on a single charge,” he added. Nikola plans to offer its patent pending battery packs to OEMs for purchase beginning in 2017.

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