Bosch, Nikola Motors Partner on Long-Haul Fuel Cell Truck
Robert Bosch GmbH and Salt Lake City (Utah)-based startup Nikola Motor Co. are collaborating to commercialize two heavy-duty, fuel cell-powered trucks by 2021.
The Class 8 tractors, dubbed Nikola One (with sleeper cab) and Nikola Two (for day trips), aim for an operating range with load of 800-1,000 miles. Nikola says the Class 8 rigs will weigh nearly 2,000 lbs less than comparable diesel long-haul trucks and deliver at least twice the fuel economy with zero pollution.
Nikola first announced the truck program in mid-2016 and indicated the Nikola One would retail for $375,000. At the time, the company said it would set up a network of 50 hydrogen fueling stations across the U.S. to support its customers.
Nikola and Bosch are creating the six-wheel-drive electric powertrain for the trucks by mating a Nikola-developed fuel cell and 320-kWh lithium-ion battery with Bosch’s eAxle system. The latter technology integrates an 800-volt propulsion motor, electronic power control unit and two-speed transmission. A regenerative braking system helps extend range.
Nikola says the resulting powertrain will deliver 1,000 hp and 2,000 lb-ft of torque, making the two truck models about twice as powerful as conventional diesel long-haul rigs. The company says the layout puts powertrain components below the truck’s frame rails, resulting in a lower center of gravity and superior handling.
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