Photo: Nikola/YouTube

Nikola unveils new models, says industry ready for shift to zero emissions

April 17, 2019
Nikola Motor Co. on April 16 unveiled its updated hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric Class 8 models for the North American and European markets. 

Nikola Motor Co. on April 16 unveiled its updated hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric Class 8 models for the North American and European markets. 

During an evening event in Scottsdale, AZ, CEO Trevor Milton said the Nikola Two will be ready for U.S. highways in 2022, and will be “on par or cheaper” than diesel trucks. 

He called hydrogen “not the most efficient source of energy in the universe, but it never goes away and you can use it forever."

The Nikola Two is the sequel to the Nikola One hydrogen fuel cell tractor that made its debut in December 2016. It is projected to be ready in 2020. It is aided by the planned development of a hydrogen fueling network that will reach an estimated 700 stations across the United States by 2028. 

The Two can be ordered as a hydrogen fuel cell or electric battery vehicle. Milton said Nikola does not have a preference. Instead, its main belief is that “emissions are the enemy.”

Milton added the Two can accelerate and stop faster than any existing truck on the market, and offers up to 1,000 horsepower, 2,000 lb.-ft. of torque and a 600-mile range. 

Nikola also used the event to officially debut the Nikola Tre, which the company calls the “new standard in trucking across Europe."

Milton said the Tre, expected to be ready for customers in 2023, has more horsepower and torque than any traditional cabover diesel truck operating on the continent. 

They are also being designed to ensure they are compliant with Level 4 and 5 automated hardware. That will allow providers to offer autonomous software to customers as it becomes available in the coming years, Milton said. 

Company executives also touted the development of its fuel cell development laboratory being built in Arizona. Once completed, it will bring 300 engineers under one roof, and allow Nikola to simulate weather extremes during testing.

Also participating in the event was Ingrid De Ryck, vice president of sustainability with Anheuser-Busch. The company has already ordered 800 Nikola trucks.

Anheuser-Busch travels about 350 million miles a year, and De Ryck said the Nikola order is part of an effort to transition its entire longhaul dedicated fleet entirely to renewable powertrains. 

Nikola kicked off the evening by first showcasing its Powersports division. That includes the Reckless, a fully electric, military grade tactical vehicle with remote control capabilities, as well as the NZT, a fully electric, off-highway vehicle.

In addition, Nikola showed a concept fully electric personal watercraft.

Among the 2,000 guests at the opening night of the Nikola World event was Arizona government Doug Ducey. He praised Nikola for its plans to add 2,000 positions in the state in the coming years, and promised to “create an environment in which jobs can be created.”

About the Author

Neil Abt

Neil Abt, editorial director at Fleet Owner, is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of reporting experience, including 15 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post newspaper, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics. Abt is based out of Portland, Oregon.

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