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kscarbel2    2,807

Nikola Motors natural gas-electric hybrid Class 8 truck

Autoblog  /  May 10, 2016

With Tesla Motors pretty much cornering the market on public perception of what an electric car should be, a new electric vehicle (EV) company called Nikola Motors is ready to launch a $375,000 natural gas-electric hybrid semi truck called the Nikola One.

The name Nikola comes from inventor Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), who is also posthumously lending his name to that one company Elon Musk is running. While the names are an obvious connecting thread, the Nikola Motor Company will not be competing with Tesla Motors unless Musk decides to enter the electric semi game.

The Nikola One is not all-electric. On top of a 320-kWh battery pack, the 2,000-horsepower Nikola One will have a 536 horsepower (400kW) fuel-agnostic turbine (the standard model will have a natural gas tank) that sends power to the battery.

Nikola says that its truck will be able to operate at half the cost per mile of today's diesel trucks.

With a full tank of 150 gallons of natural gas, the Nikola One will be able to go 1,200 miles between fill-ups.

And, for the first 5,000 customers, the company will provide 100,000 gallons of free natural gas at its planned network of CNG stations and company-owned natural gas wells.

The 100,000 gallons are enough, Nikola says, for a million work miles.

Nikola Motors is accepting refundable $1,500 deposits from today.

Website - https://nikolamotor.com/one

Features:

·  X6 100% ELECTRIC DRIVE

·  ZERO IDLE

·  MANY TIMES CLEANER THAN DIESEL ENGINES

·  1/2 THE FUEL COST PER MILE COMPARED TO DIESEL

·  3,700 FT. LBS TORQUE

·  2,000 HORSEPOWER

·  1,200 MILE RANGE

·  320 kWh BATTERY

·  1 MILLION MILES FREE FUEL*

·  REGENERATIVE BRAKING

·  NO COMPETITION

·  NEVER PLUG IN - TURBINE CHARGES BATTERIES AUTOMATICALLY WHILE DRIVING

 

95% EFFICIENT ELECTRIC MOTORS

Nikola's custom electric motors operate at 95% efficiency; so when it comes to hills they are quicker going up, and they save money going down. While other trucks are losing energy and riding their brakes, Nikola One is capturing energy, recharging batteries - saving brakes, noise and money.

UNBELIEVABLE ACCELERATION

While diesel engines require high RPM's to reach peak torque, Nikola's electric motors hit peak torque almost instantly.

Instant torque combined with all wheel drive give Nikola One the ability to accelerate nearly 2x faster than a stock diesel tractor.

2 TO 3 TIMES MORE MILES PER GALLON

There are several factors that give Nikola One the advantage when it comes to fuel economy:

Better aerodynamics

Using energy only when needed (no idling)

Charging batteries via regenerative braking

Six wheel drive - pulling and pushing at the same time

Up to 95% efficient electric motors

Up to 40% thermal efficient turbine

LESS WEIGHT = MORE MONEY

When pulling at max capacity, every pound counts.

With nearly 2,000 lbs of weight savings on the chassis, owners can throw more goods on each load. Every pound after max load may be worth as much as $.50. By saving up to 2,000 lbs, owners could earn approximately $1,000 in extra revenue from every load, every day. Owners that run at full load could see up to $30,000 or more each month in revenue straight to the bottom line.

STOP UP TO 2 X FASTER

Safety standards require trucks to stop under full load in under 300 ft.

With 6X6 regenerative braking and air disk brakes, our electric semi truck can stop nearly 2x faster than any other semi truck on the market - cutting stopping distance in half. Nikola One begins braking within 10 milliseconds; hundreds of times faster than advanced air-only disc brakes. Negative torque applied by the same electric motors brings braking to a whole new level.

PANORAMIC VIEWS

Without a heavy, noisy, cumbersome diesel engine in the front of the vehicle, Nikola was able to move the driver forward, add a panoramic windshield, and give the driver better visibility from more angles. This means safer driving, better visibility and less accidents.

LOWER CENTER OF GRAVITY

Diesel powered tractors have a high center of gravity due to the natural placement of the engine and weight of the cab to support the engine.

Nikola has lowered the center of gravity by removing the diesel engine, transmission, emissions equipment and installing batteries, electric motors and a turbine below the frame rail. This keeps the center of gravity lower than any other semi truck on the market. Lower center of gravity means more control and safer driving.

TORQUE VECTORING

Torque vectoring is one of the most advanced features for heavy duty trucking. It allows control of each wheel independently through drive-by-wire. By communicating with the motors up to 30 times a second, the speed of each wheel can be adjusted while cornering, maneuvering, accelerating and braking - making it safer for drivers.

Press Release

Nikola Motor Company Formed to Transform U.S. Transportation Industry
First products announced: Nikola One class 8 electric semi-truck and Nikola Zero 4x4 electric UTV

SALT LAKE CITY. May 10, 2016-- Nikola (pronounced Neek-oh-la) Motor Company (NMC), named after the famous electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, was quietly formed by Founder and CEO Trevor Milton years ago to design and manufacture electric vehicles, energy storage systems and electric vehicle drivetrain components.

With the first working prototypes displayed to the public later this year, the company will launch a 2,000 horsepower, electric semi-truck, dubbed "Nikola One", and a 520 hp, 4x4 electric UTV with a code name of "Nikola Zero."

For complete product details on the Nikola Zero and One, visit www.nikolamotor.com. Reservations have just begun for both the Nikola Zero UTV and the Nikola One electric semi-truck.

While the majority of the semi-trucks components are being developed by Nikola, the company also co-designed the industry's first ever independent suspension with Meritor.

"By working together with some of the top engineering firms in America, we were able to design vehicles that have previously been thought impossible to design," said Milton.

"We want to even the playing field and income inequalities seen between owner operators and fleets for the first time in recent trucking history. This is just the beginning of what's ahead for America, our company and the electric vehicle market," added Milton.

Prior to establishing Nikola, Milton was CEO of dHybrid Systems, a natural gas storage technology company that was acquired in October 2014 by one of America's largest steel providers, Worthington Industries. (NYSE: WOR)

About Nikola Motor Company:

Nikola Motor Company designs and manufactures electric vehicles, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and electric vehicle drivetrains. NMC is led by its visionary CEO Trevor Milton (twitter: @nikolatrevor), who has assembled one of the most talented teams in the country to bring the Nikola products to market. For more information, visit nikolamotor.com or Twitter: @nikolamotor.

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Nikola One (1).jpg

Nikola One (2).jpg

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kscarbel2    2,807

SPECS

MOTOR & DRIVETRAIN
Motor Type 800V AC Motors
Battery Capacity 320kWh Lithium Ion
Transmission Direct Drive With Low-Noise Gears
Drive System Type 6X6 All Wheel Drive
Transmission Two Speed Automated
Active Descent Control Comes Standard
Cooling Biodegradeable Non-Electrically Conductive Liquid Coolant
FRAMES, AXLES & SUSPENSIONS
Frame Steel & Aluminum
5th Wheels Alcoa Aluminum
Front Axles Nikola 12-14.6K lbs.
Front Suspension Independent
Rear Axles Nikola – Tandem – 40-46K lbs.
Rear Suspension Independent
Rear Hubs Alcoa Super Singles
BRAKES
Front Brakes WABCO Air Disc with Regenerative Electric Motor Braking
Rear Brakes WABCO Air Disc with Regenerative Electric Motor Braking
Parking Brake Air Parking Brake
HOOD, BUMPER, TIRES, WHEELS & FUEL TANKS
Hood Carbon Fiber
Bumper Aerodynamic Body Color Matched Aluminum
Front Tires 295 75 R22.5
Rear Tires 445 50 R 22.5
Wheels Cast Aluminum Alcoa
Fuel Tanks 150 DGE Natural Gas
CAB & SLEEPER
Cab Carbon Fiber
Seats GRA-Mag
DIMENSIONS
Bed Size Full Size Mattress
Ground Clearance TBD
Overall Vehicle Size (L x W x H) 384 Long x 98 Wide x 157 High
Payload Capacity 65,000 Lbs
Person Capacity Team Driver
OTHER
Air Dryers WABCO
Air Tanks Aluminum
Wheelbase TBD
Estimated Dry Weight (pounds/kg) 21,000 lbs / 9,526 kg
FEATURES
Display Monitors 15" Infotainment (2) 7" Instrument Clusters (1) 10" Heads up
Color / Graphics White, Red, Blue
Electronic Power Steering 800V electric driven hydraulic power steering
Lighting White LED, High/Low & Red LED Tail/Brake Lights
Instrumentation Digital Gauge, Speedometer, Odometer, Tripmeter, Tachometer, Coolant Temperature, Volt Meter, Hour Meter, Service Indicator, Clock, Distance to Empty, Fuel Gauge, Hi-Temp Light, Seatbelt Reminder Light, 2 DC Outlets

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kscarbel2    2,807

COMPARE

  DIESEL ELECTRIC
PERFORMANCE    
Horsepower 500HP 2,000HP
Torque 1,650 ft-lbs 3,700 ft-lbs
Range 500 -750 miles 1,200 miles
Top Speed Up Hills (6%) 20 - 40 MPH 65 MPH
On Descent Exhaust & Friction Brakes Recharging & Saving Brakes
Acceleration 0-60 MPH Under Load 1 minute 30 seconds
MPG 5.5 MPG 10 - 20 MPG
Weight 23,000 lbs 21,000 lbs

 

SAFETY

   
Stopping Distance 300 ft Less than 150 ft
Visibility Limited Panoramic
Interior Cab Standard 30% More sq ft
Center of Gravity High Above Frame Rail At or Below Frame Rail
Torque Vectoring No Yes
6X6 All-Wheel Drive No Yes

 

COST

   
Extra Value per Load $0.00 $1,000 ($0.50 per lb)
CPM in Fuel $0.60 - $0.85 $0.20 - $0.30
Longevity 500,000 Miles 1 Million Miles+
Lease Payment $2,200 $5,000
Fuel per Month $10,000 $0.00
Maintenance per Month $0.12 per mile $0.06 per mile

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kscarbel2    2,807

Specialty Firm Announces New Electric Road Tractor

Heavy Duty Trucking  /  May 10, 2016

Nikola Motor Co., named after electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla, has announced that it's developing a 2,000-hp, all-wheel-drive, hybrid-electric truck-tractor with a turbine range extender whose operating costs will be one-half that of a diesel tractor. 

The company is designing the majority of the components for the vehicle, called Nikola One, and with Meritor has co-designed an independent suspension for use with the truck, said Trevor Milton, the firm’s founder and chief executive officer.

Electricity will go to six 335-hp motors, one at each wheel, developing a total of 2,010 hp and 3,700 lb-ft of torque. The motors will also act as generators to recharge the battery during regenerative braking.

The proprietary turbine, which can be set up to burn many common fuels including diesel, gasoline or natural gas, automatically spins the generator to charge the batteries when needed. The vehicle's range will be 1,200 miles on 150 gallons of fuel.

Nikola One will pull a loaded trailer with a designed gross combination weight of 80,000 pounds up a 6% grade at 65 mph, Milton said. Because its electric motors are geared to the wheels, there's no transmission and the truck will be easy to drive. 

The first working prototype will be displayed publicly later this year, he said, and as of Tuesday, the company is taking reservations with $1,500 deposits. 

“By working together with some of the top engineering firms in America, we were able to design vehicles that have previously been thought impossible to design,” said Milton. “We want to even the playing field and income inequalities seen between owner-operators and fleets for the first time in recent trucking history.”

Milton formed the company a decade ago to design and manufacture electric vehicles, energy storage systems and electric vehicle drivetrain components. Previously, Milton was CEO of dHybrid Systems, a natural gas storage technology company that was acquired in October 2014 by Worthington Industries.

For more information on the Nikola One, click here

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Image 1.jpg

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kscarbel2    2,807

Electric Class 8 truck promises 2,000 hp, 1,200 miles

Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ)  /  May 10, 2016

Nikola Tesla – renowned inventor, electrical and mechanical engineer, physicist and futurist – is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system, and as a genius rivaled only by the likes of Thomas Edison.

An automobile company named in his honor, Tesla Motors, is poised to revolutionize America’s highways. Another similarly named company, Nikola Motor Company (NMC), seems poised to do the same for transportation.

Trevor Milton founded his company to design and manufacture electric vehicles, energy storage systems and electric vehicle drivetrain components. With the first working prototypes expected to be displayed to the public later this year, the company plans to soon launch a 2,000 horsepower electric semi-truck, Nikola One.

The company says Nikola One is capable of pulling a total gross weight of 80,000 pounds and offers more than 1,200 miles between stops. The majority of the truck’s components are being developed by NMC, but the company turned to Meritor for help in co-designing the industry’s first-ever independent suspension.

“By working together with some of the top engineering firms in America, we were able to design vehicles that have previously been thought impossible to design,” Milton says. “We want to even the playing field and income inequalities seen between owner operators and fleets for the first time in recent trucking history. This is just the beginning of what’s ahead for America, our company and the electric vehicle market.”

Nikola One’s fully electric 335 horsepower motor features a dual gear reduction at every wheel (6×6). Combined, the truck outputs more than 2,000 horsepower and 3,700-plus ft. lbs. of torque before gear reduction, and nearly 86,000 ft. lbs. of torque after gear reduction.

“Torque is instant with an electric motor,” Milton says. “There is a short window of RPM that you can get good torque from a diesel engine. The electric motor is basically providing 100 percent torque all the time.”

The first-of-its-kind independent suspension system, based on Meritor’s all-wheel drive ProTec High Mobility Independent Suspension*, reduces vibration and boosts ride quality and a unique steering geometry improves tracking, centering feel and intuitive feedback.

* http://www.meritor.com/products/defense/PDF/ProTec_Portfolio.pdf

By removing the diesel engine and transmission, and manufacturing the cab out of lighter carbon fiber panels, the truck builder says it was able to install many of Nikola One’s heaviest components at or below the frame rail, lowering the center of gravity and improving safety.

“Nikola One actually weighs about 2,000 pounds less than a regular diesel (21,000 pounds),” he says, “because we removed engine, the transmission, the drivetrain and all the liquids that go in those. All the batteries actually weigh less than the diesel engine does alone.”

Additional benefits of removing the diesel engine, Milton says, include the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a larger and more aerodynamic cab and a quieter and more comfortable ride.

Without a transmission, the only thing needed to make the Nikola One go or stop is the electric pedal and brake pedal.

“No shifting whatsoever,” Milton says, adding Nikola One’s simplified operation will open up the line haul market to a new group of drivers.

Nikola One’s electric motors are powered by a liquid cooled lithium-ion battery pack, which is charged by an onboard turbine. The fuel agnostic turbine automatically charges the batteries when needed, eliminating the need to plug in the unit. The turbine, Milton says, burns about 25 gallons of fuel per hour and, when coupled with the batteries, gives the truck a range of about 1,200 miles between stops and fill ups.

Going downhill, the Nikola One’s six electric motors absorb the braking energy normally lost and deliver it back to the batteries.

Because there is an electric motor at each wheel, the Nikola One’s software provides dynamic control to each wheel. Torque vectoring controls the speed and torque of each of the six wheels independent of each other at any given moment.

NMC says its cab is 30 percent larger than its more traditional counterparts, and its aerodynamics reduces the drag coefficient by nearly 5 percent over most trucks currently on the market. The Nikola One’s cab features a sliding mid-entry door, a full-size fridge and freezer, electric climate controlled cabin, 15-inch touch screen infotainment display, 10-inch instrument cluster display, 4G LTE internet and Wi-Fi, over the air software updates, panoramic windshield, sunroof, two full size beds, microwave and 42-inch television.

Each of the features will be powered by the truck’s 320 kWh battery pack, alleviating the need to idle or run a separate generator. NMC claims the driver could theoretically stay in the cab with all the amenities on for almost a week without draining the batteries enough to initiate the turbine charge.

Milton says the truck’s operational cost per mile is somewhere between 20-30 cents per-mile, roughly half of most diesel-powered semis.

The Nikola One’s proprietary hardware and software also features platooning capabilities. Once testing is complete and government regulations allow, a single Nikola One driver will have the ability to virtually hitch and lead up to five driverless Nikola One trucks through NMC’s wireless vehicle network and self-driving technology.

“[The lead driver will] send a command and within 30 milliseconds it goes straight to the motor,” Milton adds of the response time of the platoon. “If for whatever reason the trucks experience a communication failure, the trucks would pull over as soon as it was safe to do so.”

Virtual Hitch/Fleet Convoy technology is part of the truck’s hardware, and Milton says every Nikola One will come with it built in.

Milton says he expects truck deliveries to begin in the next 24-36 months. He wouldn’t disclose the number of trucks on order, only calling it “substantial.”

The first truck has been built and it is currently being tested internally. It will then undergo regular field trials to validate the technologies used.

“The truck is a lot more simple than a diesel … take a Tesla car, for example,” Milton says. “If you tear apart a Tesla, there’s really not that much to it. Because it’s a lot more simple, the software needs to be a lot more robust.”

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Underdog    1,391

I'm all for new technology, but 2 items jump out at me regarding the Nikola One... they claim weight savings yet list the dry weight at 21,000 lbs making it at least 2 tons heavier than most standard sleeper trucks in service today. And although 3,700 lb/ ft of torque sounds impressive, how will wheels, tires, and other chassis components hold up to torque loads double what is common today?

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mrsmackpaul    1,530

Well if it all works it would be a great Idea I reckon 

 

Paul

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kscarbel2    2,807

Nikola says that it will show off a working prototype on December 2nd in Utah.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Nikola Motor Company Generates $2.3 Billion in Pre-Sales in First Month
 
Press Release - Working electric truck prototype to be unveiled on December 2, 2016 in Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY. June 13, 2016-- Nikola (pronounced Neek-oh-la) Motor Company Founder and CEO Trevor Milton today announced that $2.3 billion in reservations have been generated in the first month, totaling more than 7,000 truck reservations with deposits. The company announced last month that it will launch an electric class 8 semi-truck, dubbed "Nikola One."

"Our technology is 10-15 years ahead of any other OEM in fuel efficiencies, MPG and emissions. We are the only OEM to have a near zero emission truck and still outperform diesel trucks running at 80,000 pounds. To have over 7,000 reservations totaling more than 2.3 billion dollars, with five months remaining until our unveiling ceremony, is unprecedented," said Milton.

The Nikola One truck leasing program costs $4000 to $5000 per month, depending on which truck configuration and options the customer chooses. The first million miles of fuel is included with every truck sale, offsetting 100% of the monthly lease for every owner. An average diesel burns over $400,000 in fuel and racks up over $100,000 in maintenance costs over 1,000,000 miles. These costs are eliminated with the Nikola One lease.

"We believe we will pass the current market leaders like Daimler, PACCAR, Volvo and Navistar in sales orders within the next 12-24 months. Just imagine the orders that will come in once we begin taking dealer applications. We have shown other OEMs and their shareholders why they should be nervous about Nikola Motor Company. Some of the top class 8 dealerships in America have reached out and are willing to either add our brand or move away from their existing brands," he added.

Nikola Motor Company has already completed a seed round of funding and is working on funding a $300 million A round to be completed by December 2016.

For complete product details on the Nikola One, visit www.nikolamotor.com.
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

December 2, 2016 Event

More details will be released soon regarding the December 2 unveiling of the Nikola One. The event will also be simulcast on nikolamotor.com for those not able to attend.

Reservation holders will receive an invite to attend the event in Salt Lake City, along with certain fleets and leasing companies. If you represent a fleet and want to be invited for exclusive meet and greets with the Nikola team, email [email protected]

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kscarbel2    2,807

Nikola Motor Gets 7,000 Reservations for Unseen Electric Class 8 Truck

Transport Topics  /  June 13, 2016

Nikola Motor Co. said it has received more than 7,000 reservations for its yet-to-be-unveiled electric Class 8 truck, the Nikola One.

The company says the reservations represent $2.3 billion and were generated in the first month. Reservations for the electric truck are $1,500 and 100% refundable, according to its website.

“Our technology is 10-15 years ahead of any other OEM in fuel efficiencies, mpg and emissions. We are the only OEM to have a near-zero emissions truck and still outperform diesel trucks running at 80,000 pounds. To have more than 7,000 reservations totaling more than $2.3 billion, with five months remaining until our unveiling ceremony, is unprecedented,” said Nikola Motor Co. CEO Trevor Milton.

The Nikola One is capable of pulling 80,000 pounds with a range of more than 1,200 miles between stops.

The truck has a 335-hp electric motor and dual gear reduction at every wheel, and offers a fully independent suspension — an industry first.

“The Nikola One’s electric motors are powered by a liquid-cooled 320 kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery pack [more than 30,000 lithium cells], which is charged by a proprietary onboard Nikola Motor Co. turbine. The turbine automatically charges the batteries when needed and eliminates the need to ever plug in,” the company previously said.

The turbine powers the battery bank and runs on natural gas but can be configured to run on diesel or gasoline, according to the company. The truck is capable of climbing a 6% grade at maximum weight at 65 mph, but a typical Class 8 diesel truck under similar conditions “would have a hard time reaching 35 mph.”
The company will unveil the truck Dec. 2 during an event in Salt Lake City for media and reservation holders and for certain fleets and leasing companies.

“We believe we will pass the current market leaders like Daimler, Paccar, Volvo and Navistar in sales orders within the next 12-24 months. Just imagine the orders that will come in, once we begin taking dealer applications. We have shown other OEMs and their shareholders why they should be nervous about Nikola Motor Co. Some of the top Class 8 dealerships in America have reached out and are willing to either add our brand or move away from their existing brands,” Milton said.

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kscarbel2    2,807

What about electric trucks?

Jack Roberts, Fleet Owner  /  June 27, 2016

One of today's great ironies is that trucking – an industry notorious for being conservative in its outlook and slow to change – finds itself at the forefront of the technological revolution sweeping transportation today.

That's because trucking, with its consistent high-mileage routes and (mostly) predictable routes is the perfect test bed for emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles, alternative fuels, V2V communication, low-rolling resistance tires or self-diagnosing drivetrains. And now, you can add all-electric drivetrain to that list.

I keep telling myself nothing technology-related can surprise me when it pops up in trucking anymore. But even I was taken aback in the past few weeks to see various developing technologies aimed at creating new all electric drivetrains for Class 8 commercial vehicles.

Now, to be accurate, it wasn't the electric part of that news that surprised me. I'd said for several years now that I think all-electric trucks and vans will be an important arrow in a fleet manager's quiver in the years ahead. But the Class 8 component of the news did stop me in my tracks. Because I'd always assumed that given the current constraints on battery capacity and vehicle range, all-electric trucks would fill eventually fill a specific niche in urban, P&D applications. But even then I thought we’d see minimal penetration into Class 5 – but that would be about it.

I may have miscalculated.

Earlier this month, a company called Nikola 1 announced it is developing a Class 8 electric truck with a natural-gas engine to mitigate range limitations.

Even more interesting was the company's claim that it already has more than 7,000 orders – with deposits – in hand for the new truck.

The numbers on the new truck are impressive. Nikola 1 is claiming the truck has a 100 percent electric 6x6 drivetrain and will cut per-mile fuel costs in half, compared to diesel trucks. One the business end of the drivetrain, the company says the new, electric drivetrain churns out 3,700 foot pounds of torque and a whopping 2,000 horsepower with a 1,200 mile range and will capable of running 1 million fuel free miles.

Those are serious, Class 8 long-haul performance numbers that would be impressive with any fuel type or powertrain. If the truck performs as advertised, it has the potential to be a game-changer within the industry. At the very least, it's a terrific example of how quickly technology is shaking up trucking today.

Electric trucks have a long and proud history in trucking, of course. Given the limits of early gasoline engines in terms of power and range, electric trucks were a competitive option for fleets right into the 1920s when gas engines finally pulled away in terms of efficiency. (Diesel didn't become the dominant fuel major in the industry until after World War II.)

As a result, electric drive technology stagnated over the past 90 years or so in North America. But the technology never faded completely away: Urban fleets in Europe – particularly in the United Kingdom – have been running electric vans and trucks for decades with excellent results.

Here in the States, electric vehicles were pretty much limited to golf carts. But about 10 years ago, something funny started happening: People started getting old golf carts and customizing them for off-reading and hunting. They started showing up in suburbs as a quick, cheap and easy way to run the kids to the pool or head over the neighbors’ house for a dinner party.

And over time, I think Americans slowly got used to the idea of electric-drive vehicles as safe, convenient, cheap and dependable means of short-range transportation. Which may explain why electric vehicles have hung in there: Two years ago, various news outlets, including Money magazine, were reporting that electric vehicles were fizzling as fuel prices fell from historical highs. But if Nikola is correct, a significant number of trucking professionals are now comfortable enough with the idea of an all-electric truck to at least give one a chance to prove itself.  

That's not to say that we're all going to be trucking off into the sunset tomorrow in an all-electric truck, of course. The real world is a brutal place in the trucking industry. And any new technology has to prove out before fleets will embrace it wholesale. But this unexpected move into the Class 8 market proves that trucking today has transformed from a conservative industry hesitant to try anything new into one where innovation is welcome – provided it brings real benefits and cost-savings to fleets out on the front lines.

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kscarbel2    2,807

Nikola Chooses Hydrogen Fuel Cell to Power Emissions-Free Truck

Heavy Duty Trucking  /  August 30, 2016

Nikola Motor Company will be powering its emissions-free Class 8 trucks with hydrogen fuel cells in the U.S. and Canada, the company has announced.

The vehicles will make use of a custom-built, hydrogen-electric 800-volt fuel cell that Nikola said will be able to achieve nearly 20 mpg with zero emissions under fuel load and a range of over 1,200 miles between fill-ups. The company also said the trucks will surpass all government mandates, including the  recently announced Phase 2 GHG standards. 

Nikola plans to produce hydrogen with zero-emissions solar farms that it is building and  to have a nationwide network of over 50 hydrogen stations for customers by 2020.

“The desire to be 100% emission free in the U.S. and Canada is a critical piece of our long-term engineering and environmental efforts, not just in vehicle energy consumption, but also in how energy is produced,” said Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola Motor Company. “These solar farms will produce over 100 megawatts each and will use electrolysis to create hydrogen from water.

Nikola announced the Nikola One zero-emissions Class 8 tractor earlier this year, offering reservations for the as-yet-unreleased vehicle for $1,500. The company received more than 7000 reservations for the vehicle as of August and will offer the vehicle through a truck leasing program.

More information will be announced about Nikola’s nationwide sales, service and warranty network in the coming weeks, the company said. The vehicle is set to be unveiled on Dec. 1 in Salt Lake City. A CNG -turbine version of the Nikola One is planned for countries where hydrogen is not readily available.

For more information, click here.

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kscarbel2    2,807

Nikola Motor Company Announces U.S. and Canadian Class 8 Trucks Will Be Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered and 100% Emission Free

Nikola Motor Company Press Release  /  August 30, 2016

Nikola (pronounced Neek-oh-la) Motor Company recently announced that it achieved zero emissions with its electric-powered drivetrain.

At that time, details about how Nikola achieved zero emissions were kept confidential pending finalization of key supplier agreements.

Today, Nikola is announcing that the electric drivetrain used in the U.S. and Canadian markets will be powered by a custom-built hydrogen-electric 800V fuel cell.

Nikola’s hydrogen class 8 trucks will be more powerful than any other production diesel truck on the road and have a range of over 1,200 miles between fill-ups.

It will achieve nearly 20 MPG with zero emissions under full load, surpassing all the government mandates set forth for the next 10 years, including the EPA’s recently announced Phase 2 GHG standards.

“The desire to be 100% emission free in the U.S. and Canada is a critical piece of our long-term engineering and environmental efforts, not just in vehicle energy consumption, but also in how energy is produced.

Nikola will produce hydrogen via zero emission solar farms built by Nikola Motor Company.

These solar farms will produce over 100 megawatts each and will use electrolysis to create hydrogen from water.

Even our manufacturing facilities will be run off of zero emission hydrogen energy,” said Trevor Milton, CEO, Nikola Motor Company.

“Nikola plans to have a nationwide network of over 50 hydrogen stations for customers to begin fueling by 2020. This will make Nikola Motor Company the first company in the world to be 100% emission-free from energy production to transportation to consumption. Say goodbye to the days of dirty diesels and after treatment in the heavy duty class 8 market,” added Milton.

More information will be announced about Nikola’s nationwide sales, service and warranty network in the coming weeks.

Please see Nikola’s website for more information on the location of the future hydrogen stations.

The CNG turbine version of the Nikola One will be available for other countries where hydrogen is not readily available.

https://nikolamotor.com/pdfs/Nikola_Hydrogen_Final.pdf

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kscarbel2    2,807

Nikola Motor Company's electric truck just became a lot harder to sell

CNET  /  August 30, 2016

The startup has abruptly changed course with its battery-electric truck, opting for a hydrogen fuel-cell power train, instead. Hmm.

Remember Nikola Motor Company? The not-so-originally-named startup promised to break into the auto industry with a battery-electric semi truck cab, called the Nikola One. A number of folks put down deposits based on that information, but now, the company has changed the truck's method of propulsion, which is...worrisome.

Nikola announced today that its Nikola One would feature a hydrogen fuel-cell power train. It's still electric, although it appears to ditch the natural-gas range extender in favor of hydrogen. The company claims this move makes its truck entirely emissions-free, which is good, but it's still a puzzling move.

Here's why it's strange. A number of folks [allegedly] put down deposits on a $375,000 semi cab that was marketed as being entirely electric -- as in, you can plug it into the wall and take power from the grid, all across the country. Now, the trucks will be powered by compressed hydrogen gas, which relies on an infrastructure that's so far into its infancy it's barely experienced cell mitosis. All of a sudden, your ability to fill up around the country has disappeared -- and with it, I imagine, more than a few of those deposits, which I hope are refundable.

To that end, Nikola's promised that it plans to produce its own hydrogen, via "zero-emission solar farms built by Nikola Motor Company," per its press release. The company said it will have over 50 filling stations in place by 2020. That's one per state. The truck's purported 1,200-mile range will help out there, because it may take hours to find a station, if you ever do.

It's all just very strange. I, and many of my colleagues, still don't know what to make of all this. Either way, we'll know more once the truck is unveiled to the world on December 1 in Salt Lake City.

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kscarbel2    2,807

We'll Likely Never See Nikola Motor's Super Electric Truck in Real Life

autoevolution  /  August 30, 2016

A few months ago, a new company called Nikola Motor came out of the blue and announced plans for a heavy duty electric semi that will revolutionize the way we look at trucks forever. It was so much better than our current diesel machines that we all felt like fools for not coming up with this idea sooner.

Well, that was on paper, because in reality, the Nikola One isn't that good. In fact, it isn't at all, because nobody's seen even a square inch of its body. As far as everyone's concerned, it doesn't exist. Sure, the company says it will unveil it this December (that's four months from now, in case you were wondering) and also claims it has already received 7,000 pre-orders for the truck that had a combined value of over $2.3 billion. Not bad for a company nobody really knows that much about.

The initial concept relied on an onboard gas turbine to produce the required energy, a setup that may not please the purists as it would still produce emissions, but we all agreed it was still better than diesels. Besides, the Nikola One came with 2,000 hp of electric power and 3,700 Nm or 2,730 lb-ft of torque from zero revs, so it had everything going for it regarding its ability to move heavy cargo efficiently. On paper.

Now, though, only three months after the first time this project broke cover and two months after the [alleged] 7,000 pre-orders were announced, the company issued a press release. In it, it announces nothing less than a complete change in the vehicle's powertrain. No, it won't get a diesel unit, but it will use hydrogen fuel cells instead. A "custom-built hydrogen-electric 800V fuel cell," to be more exact.

Of course, this doesn't change the bombastic claims the company made about the truck. It will still be "more powerful than any other production diesel truck on the road and have a range of over 1,200 miles between fill-ups." Yes, on paper, which is where the Nikola One might live its whole life after all.

Tesla co-founder explained why fuel cells would never work in transportation, and it's all down to the energy equation, which is "terrible." "[...] It turns out that the amount of energy per kilometer driven is just terrible. It’s way worse than almost anything else you can come up with."

But Nikola Motors is pushing things even further. It claims it will produce the necessary hydrogen in "zero emission solar farms built by Nikola Motor Company. These solar farms will produce over 100 megawatts each and will use electrolysis to create hydrogen from water. Even our manufacturing facilities will be run off of zero emission hydrogen energy.”

Right. There's no time frame on the solar farms, but Nikola Motors intends to have at least 50 hydrogen stations ready by 2020 across North America, so it would make sense if they were built sooner than that. It all sounds extremely optimistic and this major change in the vehicle's design will only raise more doubts. We'd be very curious to know how many of those [alleged] 7,000 orders still stand after this new information was released.

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TeamsterGrrrl    476

They're promising too much... Like stopping in half the distance of a conventional truck. Sure, they can turn the regenerative braking up to the max and put on big air disc brakes... But all they're going to do is start locking the wheels on the same tires that conventional rigs use. Then the ABS cuts back on the braking, and their "electric" truck stops in the same distance as a conventional one... Hopefully they've tied the regenerative braking into the ABS?

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kscarbel2    2,807

I agree. What we used to call a "trackless trolley' in the states, for example the Mack Trucks model "CR", actually is cheaper to operate.

Cities across the world, largely with the exception of the U.S.*, use modern trackless trolleys (overhead-powered electric buses) today.

* San Francisco is the only U.S. city I know with a trolley bus fleet.

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grayhair    705
On 6/13/2016 at 8:28 PM, kscarbel2 said:

is unprecedented," said Milton.

The Nikola One truck leasing program costs $4000 to $5000 per month, depending on which truck configuration and options the customer chooses. The first million miles of fuel is included with every truck sale, offsetting 100% of the monthly lease for every owner. An average diesel burns over $400,000 in fuel and racks up over $100,000 in maintenance costs over 1,000,000 miles. These costs are eliminated with the Nikola One lease.

Wow, that's pretty neat!  A truck that will go 1 million miles with ZERO maintenance costs.  Holy cow!   (Seems unlikely to me.)

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grayhair    705
20 hours ago, kscarbel2 said:

Quoted from an above article:  Here's why it's strange. A number of folks [allegedly] put down deposits on a $375,000 semi cab that was marketed as being entirely electric -- as in, you can plug it into the wall and take power from the grid, all across the country. Now, the trucks will be powered by compressed hydrogen gas, which relies on an infrastructure that's so far into its infancy it's barely experienced cell mitosis. All of a sudden, your ability to fill up around the country has disappeared -- and with it, I imagine, more than a few of those deposits, which I hope are refundable.

Yeah, no kidding, It is possible to store compressed hydrogen, but note it isn't all that simple. As a liquid, have to keep the temperature below -252 C. Or how about as a gas with tank pressure 10,000 PSI.  Hope they don't put a re-filling station near my house...

Read about it at: http://www.mpoweruk.com/hydrogen_fuel.htm  which says in part.

"There are major design challenges to overcome to find suitable containers for storing Hydrogen. Due to its physical properties, the requirements for storage as a liquid are radically different from the requirements for storage as a gas. For automotive applications, where space and weight limitations apply, these problems can be acute. Whether it is stored as a liquid or a gas, containment is a also problem since Hydrogen molecules are very small and light, they are highly diffusive and tend to permeate through their container even at low pressures.

Leakage can also be a potential danger at refuelling stations when fuel tanks are refilled at very high pressures through mechanical dispensing couplings. Nobody wants a Hindenberg disaster when they are refuelling their vehicle.

 

  • Liquid Hydrogen can be stored at low pressure (0.5 MPa)( 72.5 psi) but must be kept cold.

    Cooling circuits and insulation are needed to keep it below its boiling point of 20.3°K (-252.9°C)

    The weight of a tank and cooling system to hold 10 Kg of hydrogen is around 150 Kg.

    Considerable energy must also be expended to get the temperature down and to keep it there.

     

    Because of its low density in gaseous form, even at very high pressure, Hydrogen is not an attractive storage medium on a volumetric basis.

     

    For automotive use, the space reserved for fuel storage is limited. To hold sufficient Hydrogen in a reasonable sized container to power a vehicle over the industry benchmark of about 300 miles between regular fuelling stops, the gas must be stored at very high pressure. This needs expensive containment vessels made from carbon fibre or Kevlar capable of withstanding very high pressures of up to 70 MPa (about 10,000 psi).

    Compressing a gas also requires energy to power the compressor and higher working pressures will mean that more energy will be lost to the compression step.

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kscarbel2    2,807

From the initial announcement, when all they had to show were Photoshop pictures, and no photo of an actual concept truck in development, I wondered who at the center of this chain-jerking exercise.

Tesla and Wrightspeed are real.

But Nikola? We'll what they "show" in December.

If it's real, there stands to be a major North American truckmaker behind them.

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kscarbel2    2,807

Trevor Milton wants to revolutionize trucking, and he doesn’t care if you don’t believe him

Commercial Carrier Journal  /  September 9, 2016

Trevor Milton has been in the trucking industry for the better part of six years, but his big break came – like a meteorite through a skylight – earlier this year when he announced plans to build an electric Class 8 truck.

Milton founded Nikola Motor Company (NMC) two years ago, named in homage to engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla. With the looming December launch of its electric drivetrain truck NMC is poised to become the Tesla of trucking.

It’s fitting that Milton, who has fewer than 200 Twitter followers, only follows one account – Tesla Motor Company boss Elon Musk.

Prior to establishing Nikola, Milton was CEO of dHybrid Systems, a company that made natural gas storage technology for trucking that was acquired in October 2014 by Worthington Industries.

But Milton isn’t your typical trucking CEO.

A co-founder of five start ups, he considers himself a “serial entrepreneur” and is fluent in Portuguese, English and is semi-fluent in Spanish. He also brings his dog to work every day.

While at dHybrid Systems, he directed the engineering team and design processes that produced, among other things, “the fastest filling receptacles ever introduced into the natural gas market.”

Unlike his electric passenger car contemporary Musk, who is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business, Milton didn’t attend college.

“I gained all my knowledge in the real world,” he says. “Working with all the different companies and it’s just how I learned. Everyone learns differently and my talents for learning are in-hand. I like to learn by touching things.”

Nikola burst onto the scene in May of this year with promises of a fully electric, 2,000 horsepower Class 8 truck that provided an asphalt crumbling 3,700 ft. lbs. of torque after. That’s Thirty. Seven. Hundred. An on-board CNG turbine was supposed to provide a range of 1,200 miles to the truck’s 320 kWh battery pack.

Next came the promises of zero emissions, an attractive buzzword as the EPA unfurled its Phase II emissions regulations in August. Then came a range extending hydrogen fuel cell, which just four months following its initial announcement supplanted a CNG turbine that will no longer be offered in the U.S. or Canada on the Nikola One tractor.

“Hydrogen is more efficient and there’s no emissions on it,” Milton says. “It’s 100 percent zero emissions. The end goal, and the desire of us, is to be 100 percent emission free.”

The conversion to a hydrogen fuel cell also came with horsepower and torque downgrades. Milton says the company was forced to reconfigure horsepower output from the 800V AC motors to 1,000 and dial down torque to 2,000 ft. lbs.

“The amount of torque and horsepower we had was destroying tires,” he says, adding the output comes from a change in the truck’s software. “It’s all software limited. The truck’s still able to output that power.”

Equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell, the truck kept its 1,200 mile top range claims. In addition to the fuel cell, the batteries are constantly receiving power through rotational energy via regenerative braking technology.

The decision to substitute the CNG range extender for hydrogen didn’t come without risk. Milton says more than 8,000 orders were already on the books for the CNG model. Less than a month after the switch was made, Milton says feedback has been mostly positive. Cancellations were practically non-existent and were more than offset by new orders coming in.

“There’s better hydrogen credits with hydrogen than there is with CNG,” he adds.

The trucking industry is nothing if not traditional, and NMC is further outside the box than any other company currently building trucks. Undaunted, Milton says Nikola One will find its niche with fleets and drivers tired of chasing EPA emission standards and looking to save some money along the way.

“It comes down to your bottom line – what does it cost to operate a diesel per month,” he says. “For a full-time driver it’s about $8,000 to $10,000 dollars a month …With our truck, you’re about $5,000 to $6,000 a month.”

About 70 percent of NMC’s customers are fleets, including large carriers who have ordered “thousands” of units, Milton says, adding his company’s sales pitch to-date has been not making a sales pitch at all. The majority of Nikola One orders, he says, have come from customer-initiated contact.

“We don’t approach anyone. They approach us,” he says. “The customers we’re dealing with right now are customers that have called in to us asking for a meeting for the big fleets, and the rest have just ordered online. We don’t need to go make a pitch. If they don’t see the value in saving billions [of dollars], I don’t want to work with them anyways.”

Milton says his company is currently developing the hydrogen infrastructure to support its million-mile “free fuel” guarantee, with 56 strategically positioned hydrogen stations planned across the U.S. and Canada.

There is currently a per gallon federal credit to the station owner, allowing Nikola to build those credits into the price of the tractor and give customers the pre-purchased fuel for the first million miles, Milton says.

Meanwhile, there’s all those trucks that still need to be built.

“Probably three-quarters of the truck [assembly] will be done robotically,” he says. “All the stamping, all the paint, the frame assembly … everything’s done by robotics, and then a human comes in and finishes it up.”

Milton struggles to pin down a number of people currently working on the project, but says counting employees of NMC and its partners, “it’s hundreds and hundreds and hundreds.”

And those hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of employees have helped push the company, Milton says, to the forefront of its segment.

“We’re probably five to 10 years ahead of our competition,” he adds, “and we’ll start full production about 36 months from right now. I’m happy. We’re booked out for many, many years and that’s what everybody’s dream is.”

Innovations in trucking are nothing new and with diesel prices fairly low compared to recent history, NMC has its share of doubters for long-term viability. But Milton says there are plenty of differences between his company and those who may have come – or gone – before it.

“We’re the only ones with actual orders,” he says. “We’ve got orders, deposits, partners – we’ve got the largest partners in the world. That’s the difference between us and everyone else. We have a product that makes sense and doesn’t need government subsidies.”

The development of Nikola One has largely been built and developed with Milton’s money and funding from partners. Milton says the 8,000-plus $1,500 deposits plopped down to secure a model pre-launch is sitting untouched in an escrow account.

“Tesla actually uses people’s money and deposit money,” he says. “We don’t. This has all been self-funded and funded by partners. We’re not out there trying to get money to operate.”

Milton is currently working to build the NMC sales and service network, the details of which he expects to announce in about 80 days when the sheet is fully pulled off Nikola One – an event he expects will be attended by more than 500 people, including a likely handful of naysayers.

“So many people out there called us vaporware,” he says. “They’re going to eat their words.”

 .

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BC Mack    734

seen this before...

http://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/whatever-happened-to-the-hydrogen-highway/Content?oid=2283903

we paid many millions for twenty custom built NewFlyer city transit buses for Whistler prior to the 2010 winter olympics.... I think it was 2.6mil each, big plans by our gov and california to build a supply chain down the left side of america..

of 20 buses they were lucky to get 8 running on any day... and all 8 had two factory mechanics riding with the bus for the few hours a day they actually made it into service...

the fuel..... was trucked from Quebec, 3000km away into a $1.2mil storage facility built just for these 20 buses.

all was folded up a few months after the games finished and saw no bidders at auction last year, so they went for scrap.

gotta give the guy an A+ for BS.... for while he has grasped an idea held my many others in the past he has put the cart in front of the horse.

I did read that the energy taken to obtain and transport hydrogen cost more than the energy gained from the product.... sort of like getting our gasoline from farm fields.... and then buying produce from Mexico.

BC Mack

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kscarbel2    2,807

Nikola to Officially Unveil Hybrid-Electric Truck on Dec. 1

Heavy Duty Trucking  /  November 3, 2016

Upstart commercial vehicle maker Nikola Motor Company is on track to unveil its flagship product, the Nikola One electric Class 8 truck, at a launch event on Dec. 1st.

In addition to the Nikola One, the company will also reveal its plans for its network of hydrogen fueling stations in the U.S. to support its hybrid-electric truck.

“Over 300 planned stations are going to be announced at the Dec. 1 event,” said Trevor Milton, Nikola’s CEO. “Nikola will have the largest hydrogen network in the world. We are proud to be on the forefront of this clean energy revolution.”

The Nikola One is a hydrogen-powered electric vehicle that is projected to have a range of 800 to 1,200 miles between fillups with an effective fuel economy of 15-20 mpg under full load.

The vehicle will also produce zero emissions, according to Nikola, surpassing the government’s standards including the EPA’s new Phase 2 greenhouse gas standards.

By using hydrogen to power its electric motor and batteries, the Nikola One can hoffer an extended range over a traditional plug-in electric vehicle while generating fewer emissions than a comparable diesel or alternative fueled hybrid, per the company.

“Nikola will begin selling hydrogen to non-Nikola customers for around $3.50 per kg, nearly half the current market price,” said Milton. “We believe that hydrogen power generation is a better deal per mile than plugging in for electricity.”

In a move that mirrors Tesla Motors, the company has been taking reservations for the unreleased Nikola One truck, which the company says has totaled nearly $3 billion in the first 30 days of availability.

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