Under the Hood of a Fuel Cell

Earlier this year, Diesel News’ US Correspondent, Steve Sturgess, got to look under the hood of a fuel cell–powered truck, the Nikola One. Nikola Motor Co. had been showing artist renderings of its revolutionary cabover at Nikola.com. Finally, company founder and CEO Trevor Milton pulled the wraps off the real thing, an all independent–suspension electric-drive cabover using current generated by a hydrogen fuel cell. And the only emission from this high-performance prime mover is a little water.

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The Future Is Coming

The Future Is Coming

There is no doubt about it, the future is coming and there is very little we can do about it. The one certainty in life is change, nothing ever remains the same, everything moves on, whether we like it or not.

Now some of the most powerful high-tech companies in the world are turning their greedy gaze on our industry, road freight. Uber has launched its Uber freight service with this YouTube video and we can be sure they have the money and the sheer economic and technical power to pull it off.

Another global tech giant, Amazon, is also looking into this space, seeking to ‘disrupt’ retail and particularly distribution. The company has been distributing – first books, and now a myriad of consumer goods – all over the world, so if it wants to get into retail distribution, it knows what it’s doing.

On the one hand, here in Australia, we know the winds of change will blow through the US and Europe first, so we will get some warning about what is about to hit us, but we may not be able to judge the scale of any possible changes. We need to keep an eye on what is happening in this space, this is our space and we need to be prepared for what the tsunami of automation and cloud-based transactions are going to do to our industry.

We can look at changes and think it will not happen in our particular little segment of the market, but the beauty, and the strength, of these new ways of doing business is the inbuilt flexibility they have, to be able to adapt to different situations and niche operations.

Things do move fast, faster than we expect. Just look at the car market – Tesla is taking off, Volvo is dropping new combustion engines after 2019 and France is going all-electric by 2040. The future is coming and it’s all just around the corner.

Autonomous Trucks, 1,140hp Engine and Failed Speed Limits

This week, Autonomous Trucks, a 1,140hp Engine and Failed Speed Limits, plus a truckie survey, Hino awards and new investment are all in the news.

A hybrid truck rated at 1,140hp has been unveiled by two Finnish companies, Visedo and Sisu Auto. The two have teamed up to develop a hybrid electric parallel power system for the heavy truck market capable of delivering 1,140hp (850k) and more than 5,000Nm of torque. Read more

Mercedes’ First Fully Electric Truck 

Launched earlier this year, Mercedes’ first fully electric truck is the all-electric ‘Urban eTruck’, based on a three-axle Mercedes Antos distribution chassis (complete with a heavily camouflaged cab) which was duly described as, “The first fully-electric truck for heavy distribution operations.” Less than two months later, up popped the Urban eTruck again, only this time sporting a smart curvaceous futuristic cab, and in pride-of-place at the centre of Mercedes’ IAA show stand. Electric heavies are suddenly big news. Read more

Hydrogen Truck Unveiled in the US

Hydrogen Truck Unveiled in the US

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.

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Australian Electric Truck Trial

Beginning next year, an Australian electric truck trial will feature the new Fuso eCanter. The truck has been involved in real-world trials in Portugal and Germany, and the latest eCanter features an upgraded drive system and new design. Fuso confirmed the eCanter will be involved in a trial with key customer fleets next year.

Fuso revealed the third generation of the all-electric light duty truck at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hannover last week. The new eCanter uses a permanent synchronous electric motor with an output of 185 kW and torque of 380 Nm. Power is transferred to the rear axle by a standard single-speed transmission. Read more