PHOENIX — Nikola Corp. this week announced plans to advance its fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) commercial truck program in North America with two new FCEV Class 8 zero-emissions trucks — the Nikola Tre Cabover and the Nikola Two Sleeper. Nikola hopes to achieve best-in-class efficiency ratings for ranges between 300 and 900 miles in the North American market.
The two FCEV models will join Nikola’s Tre battery-electric vehicle (BEV) cabover, which is designed for metro/regional use and has a range of up to 300 miles.
“To expedite the transition to a carbon-free future, the trucking industry needs heavy-duty, zero-emission commercial vehicles engineered to match the weight and range capabilities of today’s diesel trucks,” said Jason Roycht, global head of FCEV for Nikola. “Nikola is excited to introduce additional detail about our portfolio of FCEV trucks and our continued commitment to sustainable commercial transportation.”
Nikola Tre FCEV Cabover
The Nikola Tre FCEV Cabover is targeted for distances up to 500 miles, and is expected to appeal to the majority of the North American regional market, especially when additional freight-hauling capacity and quick fueling are required by fleet operators. The Tre FCEV is built on the Tre BEV platform and powered by hydrogen fuel cells, and is designed to improve aerodynamics and reduce total vehicle weight.
The first Tre FCEV prototype builds are scheduled to begin in Arizona and in Ulm, Germany, during the second quarter of 2021, with testing and validation of the vehicles continuing into 2022; production is planned for the second half of 2023.
Nikola Two FCEV Sleeper
The Nikola Two FCEV Sleeper offers a long-haul freight solution with hydrogen capacity that provides a nonstop range of up to 900 miles. The Two FCEV leverages the weight advantage of hydrogen in long-range, long-haul zero-emission commercial transportation. The Two FCEV will be based on a new chassis custom-designed for North American long-haul routes and is anticipated to launch in late 2024.
Nikola’s fuel-cell and hydrogen storage systems
The Nikola Tre and Nikola Two FCEVs are expected to utilize multiple common fuel-cell power modules and scalable hydrogen storage systems. Both systems are currently in development and testing with industry leaders in collaboration with Nikola Engineering. The first Tre prototypes using these systems are expected to begin road-testing in 2022.
“Our plan is to enter the market in steps,” Roycht said. “We are building on the current Tre platform with the planned launch of our fuel-cell and hydrogen storage systems in 2023. These systems are designed to be scalable in order to handle the greater power and longer-range requirements for long-haul, which allows for concurrent integration into the chassis design of the Nikola Two FCEV Sleeper. Utilizing common components and systems for hydrogen propulsion will support greater economies of scale and also allow Nikola to continuously expand and adapt our FCEV truck portfolio to address the diverse requirements of commercial trucking.”
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