Nikola Motors Reveals its Latest Hydrogen-Electric Vehicles at ‘Nikola World 2019'

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【Summary】Last night in Scottsdale, Arizona, hydrogen-electric truck developer Nikola Motor Co unveiled its zero-emission class-8 Nikola Two truck a special event dubbed “Nikola World 2019”. The company says its hydrogen and battery powered trucks will transform the trucking industry.

FutureCar Staff    Apr 17, 2019 1:30 PM PT
Nikola Motors Reveals its Latest Hydrogen-Electric Vehicles at ‘Nikola World 2019'

Last night in Scottsdale, Arizona, hydrogen-electric truck developer Nikola Motor Co unveiled its zero-emission class-8 Nikola Two truck a special event dubbed "Nikola World 2019". The company says its hydrogen and battery powered trucks will transform the trucking industry.

At the event, Nikola CEO Trevor Milton gave thousands of attendees a first peek into a global zero-emission future. The event was also live streamed to a world-wide audience. The Nikola hydrogen-powered trucks produce up to 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 ft-lbs of torque with a 500 to 750 miles range.

Milton called the Nikola Two "the most advanced commercial truck the world has ever seen."

"We want to transform everything about the transportation industry. With Nikola's vision, the world will be cleaner, safer and healthier."

Nikola is building its high-tech hydrogen-powered trucks for autonomous highway driving. All of the Nikola products have been built for the future with autonomous driving hardware in place. For added safety, all of the vital autonomous systems are built with redundancy.

The evening began with the Nikola CEO arriving on stage by the famous Budweiser Clydesdales, representing the one of Nikola's biggest clients, Anheuser-Busch. The beverage company placed orders for 800 class 8 zero-emission trucks from Nikola as part of its sustainability strategy, which is to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 percent across its value chain.

The carbon reductions gained from these 800 trucks is the equivalent to taking more than 13,000 passenger vehicles off the road annually.


The interior of the Nikola Two

Nikola's zero-emission trucks already have customers lining up for them. There are currently more than 13,000 Nikola trucks on order. The trucks have lower operating costs than diesel-powered trucks, so there is much interest from the freight industry as a way to cut costs.

Under the Leasing Program, owners pay a fixed monthly cost for the truck, hydrogen fuel and warranty and maintenance. Owners will have the option to trade in for a new Nikola vehicle every million miles or 84 months, whichever comes first, the company said.

Nikola's trucks have an advanced surround view system using a 15-inch touchscreen display, which shows the driver a virtual aerial view of the area around the truck and trailer in real time, eliminating all blind spots. The trucks use several high definition cameras combined with radar, sonar and computing software and hardware to provide 360° views.

Nikola also announced a battery-electric vehicle option for the urban, short haul trucking market.

For the European market, Nikola President Mark Russell and Milton unveiled the never-before-seen Nikola Tre, an advanced truck with a clean, contemporary design.

"With a range between 500 and 750 miles depending upon load, this gorgeous vehicle will have fast hydrogen fueling in under 15 minutes, even in Europe," said Russell. "Think about Europe with no more diesel trucks," said Milton. "The roads will be clean, quiet and beautiful."


The Nikola Two hydrogen-powered truck

Nikola's Executive Vice President of Hydrogen Jesse Schneider, discussed Nikola's hydrogen fuel cell vision. The vision consists of the world's first purpose-built fuel cell Class 8 truck, enabling more hydrogen storage, optimized placement of the powertrain, and a robust 70 MPa hydrogen fueling network.

"We recently opened our first hydrogen station at our Phoenix headquarters. We are leading the way and working with industry and other OEMs to develop hydrogen standards to enable fueling in less than 15 minutes. The goal is safety and interoperability, so that anyone can fuel at our station. This is a big deal," he said.

To keep the trucks in peak condition, Nikola has partnered with Ryder System, Inc. and Thompson Machinery to offer world-class sales, service and warranty through their over 800 locations across North America.

As part of the evening, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey discussed Nikola's contribution to Arizona's growing economy, adding 2,000 new jobs at their Phoenix headquarters, planned manufacturing plant and hydrogen and fuel cell R&D center.

Electric ATVs, Personal Watercraft and Military Vehicles

nikola atv.PNG

The electric Nikola NZT off-road all-terrain vehicle

In addition to its advanced hydrogen-powered trucks, the company is also working on electric adventure vehicles, including an off-road all-terrain vehicle (ATV) called the NZT and a battery-powered personal watercraft. A version of the Nikola ATV dubbed the "Reckless" was also revealed. The Reckless is being developed specifically for military applications.

"With virtually no sound and no heat signature, the Reckless provides new meaning to stealth and is defying all standards," said Andrew Christian, Nikola Powersports vice president of business development and defense. "We believe all military vehicles will transform to battery electric and hydrogen fuel cells in the future."

Milton and Nikola Powersports President Michael Erickson explained how Nikola is transforming zero-emission recreational vehicles. The company's Water Adventure Vehicle (WAV) concept which has been teased for some time and it was finally revealed for the first time last night.

"Nikola is bringing zero-emission sustainability and technology to the water," added Milton. "With WAV, you can feel the rush of power and acceleration in your chest, with the sound of the water and breeze in your ears. It's zero impact and pure fun," Darling added.

"We at Nikola are creating the world's first "wakeboard" architecture, which enables us to push the limits in design and propulsion." said Jordan Darling, vice president of Nikola Powersports and an industry pioneer in the electrification of personal watercraft.

Nikola Motor Originally Focused on Electric Trucks


Nikola Motors was originally focused on electric trucks, but the company switched to developing hydrogen-power trucks as a more commercially viable solution for the trucking industry.

Nikola said the size and weight of a heavy lithium-ion battery to power a truck of this size would decrease its load carrying weight and that hydrogen is a much better, lower cost solution for the trucking industry.

In May 2018, Nikola Motor Company has filed a lawsuit against Tesla in Arizona, alleging that Tesla's all-electric semi-truck infringes on the hydrogen-electric truck startup's patents. The lawsuit claims Tesla willfully copied these patents in creating its own electric truck. Nikola is seeking $2 billion in damages in return.

At the conclusion of the night, Milton reflected on the company's journey from an idea started in his basement in 2014 to a company that is poised to transform trucking industry.

"We now have five products in development that will change transportation for the better," he said. Milton said that the original team he assembled to work in his basement is still together.

The interest in the Nikola Motor hydrogen-electric truck has been tremendous, the company said. According to Milton, the company had to temporarily stopped taking orders for the truck.

Nikola has nearly $14 billion in pre-orders, which give some insights into how big the market for hydrogen-powered and electric trucks can become.

Last night's Nikola World 2019 livestream can be viewed here:

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