Car News

Hydrogen-powered Nikola One revealed… could revolutionise motoring

Start-Up Nikola Motor Company has revealed its hydrogen-powered Nikola One semi-trailer which will hit the road in 2020 offering zero emissions.

THE NIKOLA ONE was revealed on Friday and while Tesla-founder, Elon Musk, has publically said that hydrogen-powered vehicles are “dumb” they seem to make a lot of sense in the trucking world. The Nikola Motor Company, founded by Trevor Milton said its Nikola One hydrogen-powered truck offers a range of 1900 kilometres. Getting beyond 600km with an electric vehicle on a single charge is unheard of, and the Mercedes-Benz electric truck (not a semi-trailer like the Nikola One) which will be here sometime in the next 10 years will have a range of less than 200km.

The Nikola One is powered by a stack of hydrogen fuel cells mated to a 320kWh battery which output more than 2700Nm of torque. The company had suggested it would build an electric vehicle with a compressed natural gas turbine, but it has abandoned that idea for the hydrogen fuel cell which means there will be zero emissions and can be refuelled with hydrogen in just 15 minutes. There will be cameras positions all around the truck to provide a 360-degree field of vision, something that trucks on the road right now don’t have.

But, what about the hydrogen filling station infrastructure? Milton said on Friday night that he plans to build 364 filling stations across the US starting in 2018 (truck deliveries will begin in 2020). The company also announced it would build the solar farms to provide clean electricity to the electrolysis plants that will produce the hydrogen. Milton said he wanted the whole production, supply and use to be zero emissions.

Right now you can place a deposit for a Nikola One for less that $2000 with the company claiming it has already secured more than $4 billion in orders. Drivers will also be able to lease a truck for around $10,000/month which will also include the cost of hydrogen refuelling.

Question: Motoring and tech writers often point at Elon Musk and Tesla as the pioneer of motoring’s future, but maybe the Nikola Motor Company is the bolder of the two?


  1. Galaxy Being
    December 5, 2016 at 8:36 am — Reply

    I prefer a fuel cell car over a battery EV. Long range and fast fuelling.

  2. Steve Bekkers
    December 7, 2016 at 11:38 pm — Reply

    remember the Hindenburg… seriously it takes like 300kwh of electricity to make enough Hydrogen to deliver 100kwh of energy. in a few short years batteries will evolve to make hydrogen look ridiculous. at this time we have people driving H2 cars saying look how clean I am while in the next valley a coal fired power station is spewing out tons of carbon to make it happen.

  3. StephenJ
    December 8, 2016 at 12:18 pm — Reply

    If this works it could possibly mean the transport industry will make Hydrogen as the number one choice for all vehicles rather than battery due to a greater number of refueling stations, speed of refueling to recharging, greater range and zero emissions from production to tailpipe. The number of batteries and what they are produced from, as well as there disposal or recycling is also a concern. With cost of solar power coming down it might just be feasible one day.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober