Nikola Motor Company just unveiled a huge class 8 truck which will run on hydrogen fuel cells. Nikola claimed that the truck’s operational range will be as much as 1,200 miles (1,900 km), and it will be released in 2020.
Nikola One seems promising
Nikola designed the Nikola One for long-haul transport across a large landmass. The truck will deliver over 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. Provided these claims are true, the vehicle will provide nearly double the power of the current-gen diesel-powered semis/articulated lorries, notes Ars Technica.
Nikola Founder and CEO Trevor Milton described the vehicle as “the most advanced semi-truck ever built.” The leasing cost of the trucks will include the fuel price, servicing costs and warranty, but exactly how the lease will work is not known now, notes Ars Technica. The company says it has already accepted nearly $3 billion in future orders.
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A fully-electric drivetrain which gets power from high-density lithium batteries runs the vehicle, and a hydrogen fuel cell charges the batteries on the go. Its reach is presently limited, as hydrogen fueling stations currently exist in only small numbers. This made Nikola decide to construct a network of 364 hydrogen fueling stations across the U.S. and Canada, just like Tesla with its network of Superchargers.
Milton claims it will come with a smart dashboard which has the capability of picking the most cost-efficient route for drivers. Also one or two full-size beds will be included inside the vehicle’s enormous cab. It will have other luxuries and necessities as well, such as Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, 4G LTE connectivity, freezer, a 40-inch curved 4K TV with Apple TV and a microwave.
Could compete with Tesla trucks
Nikola’s truck will probably be competing with Tesla. In August in the second part of his “master plan,” Elon Musk did hint at producing an articulated truck. The production of the Nikola One is set to begin in 2020 with an outside company, Fitzgerald, handling the initial production.
Apart from unveiling the truck, Nikola made several other announcements as well. The company will start construction on its $1 billion factory sometime next year. Further, it announced the Nikola Two, a non-sleeper cab version of the One. It also announced that it signed Ryder to handle its nationwide sales, warranty and service.
“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,” the company said in a press release.