Nikola Motor announced battery electric variants for their hydrogen trucks Nikola Two and Nikola Tre, which will be offered in addition to the fuel cell versions. There will be three battery capacities to choose from: 500 kWh, 750 kWh and 1,000 kWh.
The company announced the news via Twitter and said that both the fuel cell and battery electric versions of the two truck models will be unveiled at the Nikola World 2019 in Phoenix in April. While the fuel cell versions are destined for long-haul use, Nikola Motor targets short-haul use with the BEV versions. “BEV is for inner cities and non-weight sensitive applications,” the manufacturer explained in a second tweet. Background: The BEV version is almost 2.27 tons heavier than its H2 counterpart.
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Fuel cell vehicles will nonetheless remain the focus. The company reckons 50:1 orders in favour of H2 trucks over the battery electric variants but Nikola wants to expand its target group. In a further tweet, the company explains the technical data in a somewhat roundabout manner: “BEV semi trucks with 80,000 lbs. use about 2.25 kWh per mile in real life scenarios in decent weather with normal hills on routes so 1MWh gets about 400 miles.” Taking into account the fact that only 90% of the battery should be used and the possible impact of the weather, Nikola Motors says that the reliable range is 300 miles (around 483 km).
Nikola’s plans to build over 700 hydrogen stations in the USA and Canada with partner Nel Hydrogen by 2028 remain unaffected by the news. Each station should be capable of producing 2,000 to 8,000 kilos of hydrogen per day. The company also wants to become active in Europe: The first European sites are expected to go live in 2022. By 2030, the company wants to cover “most of the European market”.