In Salt Lake City, the Hydrogen Truck Unveiled in the US, in front of 600 invited guests and media, by Nikola Founder and CEO, Trevor Milton, was revealed as the Nikola One Hydrogen Electric fully functioning prototype truck. The result of 10 years of development, the truck presented is powered using a fuel cell, fuelled by hydrogen to produce electric power to drive the wheels.
Pre-orders are claimed to have just crept past $4 billion and Nikola announced a deal with Ryder Lease and Maintenance for sales and servicing of the Nikola trucks. Final plans for the assembly plant, estimated to cost $1 billion dollars, are expected to be announced in mid-2017, and the first of 364 refuelling stations is due to kick off in 2019.
Building the first 5,000 trucks will be the job of, glider builder, Fitzgerald who build about 6,000 to 9,000 trucks a year in the US and are a Nikola investment partner. The full-blown Nikola manufacturing facility is due to come on stream in four to five years.
According to Diesel’s US Correspondent, Steve Sturgess, who was at the recent launch, “Water is the by-product of the power generated by combining the hydrogen with oxygen in the air in the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell that is directly charging the lithium-ion storage batteries. The all-independent suspension used in the truck is revolutionary.
“There is a burgeoning, though patchy, hydrogen fuel infrastructure in the United States and Milton has a bigger vision for trucking. Hydrogen will be dispensed at 364 Nikola fuel station/truck stops, which are to be built concurrently with the start-up of production of the Nikola One prime mover.
“For Nikola One truckers, the cost of fuel will be zero. One of the highly attractive parts of Milton’s Nikola vision is that customers will pay nothing at the pump. The plan is to offer the trucks on a six-year lease that folds in all maintenance, service, and consumables like tyres, windshield wipers, and even fuel for 1 million miles. The cost will be finalised in the two-plus years before the truck reaches the market, but Milton says he is shooting for a lease of $5,000 to $7,000 a month.”