Nikola Motor Company Teases Nikola One Hydrogen Truck Before Reveal Tonight
Company Promises Zero-Emissions Fuel Cell, One Million Miles of Free Fuel
Set to debut tonight in Salt Lake City, the Nikola One hydrogen fuel-cell semi truck was teased today, along with a few details of this ambitious project.
The company released a few details on the truck, including preliminary output figures of 1,000 hp and 2,000 lb-ft of torque. (For comparison, the common Volvo VNL truck produces between 325 and 600 hp and between 1,250 and 2,050 lb-ft of torque.) The One makes its theoretical power using a hydrogen fuel cell that powers four 800-volt motors mounted to the trucks rear wheelset. A two-speed automated gearbox provides simpler operation than a conventional truck, likely a product of an electric motor’s instant-on torque output. Nikola promises a refueling range of between 800 and 1,200 miles.
Nikola Motor Company also claims a number of trump cards over other semis, including improved performance. The company says the One will be able to accelerate to 60 mph in just 30 seconds, half the time other semis require. Furthermore, its electric motors also act as generators, providing brake protection and added electric efficiency when going downhill. A theoretical payload capacity of 65,000 pounds compares well to other trucks, and zero-emissions powertrains will be attractive to logistics companies looking to go green.
Originally envisioned as an all-electric semi with a fuel-agnostic range extender, Nikola Motor Company repurposed the Nikola One tractor-trailer as a hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle a few months ago. That switch could be worrisome, as it may portend a lack of direction within the company. Additionally, with hydrogen stations currently few and far between, the Nikola One’s route planning may be a bit of a challenge.
To combat that, Nikola Motor Company plans on building massive solar-powered electrolysis plants to derive hydrogen, then open more than 50 hydrogen filling stations nationwide. Combined with the One’s 1,200-mile range, the infrastructure should provide coverage to most, if not all, of the continental U.S. Furthermore, Nikola will give One owners and lessees 1 million free miles’ worth of hydrogen fuel, lowering operating costs.
Although we have our doubts, we sincerely hope the aerodynamic Nikola One makes it to market in time for the company’s 2020 goal. Nikola Motor Company is taking reservations on the technologically impressive truck now for $1,500, and the truck will lease for between $5,000 and $7,000 per month for seven years, at which point Nikola envisions its customers will trade their trucks in for the newest models. Of note, the company also offers a very cool (520 hp worth of cool) all-electric UTV, should your green tastes skew more off-road.
We’ll be on site in Salt Lake City tonight for the reveal party, so be sure to check in on the Work Truck Review Facebook page for live video tonight at 7:00 pm MT.
Source: Nikola Motor Company