Nikola hedges bets on battery and hydrogen

No contest as Two and the Tre get each to suit tasks at hand

Nikola hedges bets on battery and hydrogen
Nikola Tre is due in Australia at some stage


Nikola has confirmed it will present the US truck market with two versions of its heavy-duty Nikola Two and Nikola Tre prime movers – with a battery electric vehicle (BEV) and a hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) power plant in each.

The US alternative-propulsion truck manufacturer and major rival in trucks to Tesla aims to provide 500kWh, 750kWh and 1mWh for BEVs aimed at short-haul operations, while HFC s will be pointed at longer haul tasks.

On present statements, Nikola has the smaller, flat-fronted cab-over Tre aimed at the European, Asian and Australian markets, though arrival here is likely be in the medium- to long-term.

Read what Nikola told us about its Tre plans for Australia, here

It claims the Tre will produce 2,000 ft-lb (2,712Nm) of torque, 500-1,000hp (373-746kW), 500-1,000km range "depending on option".

Nikola Two’s habitat is to be the Americas.

The announcement comes as the company gears up for its formal market presentation in mid-April and underlines a growing acceptance that, at this stage, of BEV and HFC task suitability, saying: "One size does not fill all and both replace ICE and emissions."

"So far, Fuel Cell can't be beat long haul and BEV is good option for short haul," Nikola says in a facebook post.

"World needs both. ICE is enemy, not hydrogen or BEV, although each have advantages."

It claims that a BEV semi at the equivalent of 36 tonnes will run at about 2.25 kWh per mile in" real weather and normal hills on routes", with 1nWh good for about 600km.

It notes that only 90 per cent of the battery is useable and that in cold weather, "you get 300 miles / 1Mwh" for a nine tonne vehicle.

On HFCs, it sees 80kg of hydrogen producing 7-10 miles (11-16km) per kg and using the same 2.25kWh per mile as its BEV.

"Fuel cell system and truck complete weight 15,000-17,000lb [6.8-7.7 tonne] so about 3,000-5,000lb [1.36-2.27 tonne] less than the BEV," it adds.


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