In April of 2016, I wrote a blog post titled “Where are all of the hydrogen trucks?” Now, as of December 2016, the Nikola Motor Company has answered this call by unveiling the Nikola One and Nikola Two long-haul, class 8 hydrogen fuel cell trucks.
The Nikola Two is very similar to the Nikola One truck except the Two doesn’t have a sleeper cab like the One does.
Nikola is offering a lease program for the vehicles. For $5,000 to $7,000 per month, you will get unlimited miles, hydrogen fuel (up to 1,000,000 miles), scheduled maintenance and a warranty.
Nikola Motors says it is in the process of developing 100 Mw solar farms across the U. S. which will create green hydrogen via electrolysis of water in order to refuel the trucks. At this point in time, 364 H2 fueling stations are planned.
According to Nikola, “Nikola™ is in the process of developing multiple 100-megawatt solar farms to create hydrogen from electrolysis. Nikola™ will convert solar energy to hydrogen on-site using only energy and water, making it the only fuel that is zero emission from production to consumption. The hydrogen is then transported from the Nikola™ solar farms to Nikola™ hydrogen stations by a fleet of Nikola One™ trucks, running on zero-emission electric-hydrogen powertrains. The hydrogen is stored at Nikola™ stations in liquid form, and then dispensed into vehicles as compressed or liquid hydrogen. From energy creation to energy consumption, the entire process is 100% emissions free with Nikola™.”
Here are some of the basic specs that apply to both the Nikola One & Two fuel cell truck:
- 800 – 1,200 mile range
- 15 minute refill time
- 100-percent electric drive
- 2,000 ft. lbs. torque
- 1,000 horsepower
- 320 kWh lithium ion battery
- regenerative braking
- 10 – 20 mpg
- 800V AC Motors
Either of the vehicles may be reserved for $1,500 and the deposit is 100-percent refundable.
Back in 2009, a company called Vision Industries started promoting their Tyrano plug-in hydrogen fuel cell Class 8 truck. In September of 2014, Vision Industries would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy of which they would not emerge and consequently have gone out of business.
My hope is that the Nikola Motor Company will have learned from the mistakes of others before them and will avoid the pitfalls of this potentially cold and cruel emerging market space. And while there is no direct competition for Nikola Motors right now, Toyota is conducting their own study of rolling out heavy duty fuel cell trucks in the near future. So, let us now wave the green flag so that this green truck race may begin!