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?