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IPFS News Link • Manufacturing-U.S.A

Nikola's electric and hydrogen fuel cell-powered big rigs put diesel to shame


It's not just passenger cars and light-duty pickups that are going green. A company called Nikola is looking to revolutionize heavy hauling with battery-electric and fuel cell-powered Class-8 trucks.

Both the all-electric Tre BEV and hydrogen-fueled Tre FCEV are based on the Iveco S-Way semi from Europe. Speeding development, these Nikola models share the same basic cab design with their progenitor, because why create all that from scratch when a proven platform already exists? The frames of these big rigs, however, have been completely reengineered by Nikola to support the unique powertrains offered.

The Tre BEV features a whopping 733 kilowatt-hours of lithium-ion battery spread across nine separate but serviceable modules. This provides a manufacturer-estimated range of 330 miles, though this will vary. Expect that number to increase when the Tre BEV is operated in urban areas where regenerative braking is frequently used and speeds are lower, though this figure will likely decrease when the truck is operated on the interstate for extended periods. As for charging performance, Nikola says this big rig can hit 80% in 90 minutes when hooked to a thundering 350-kilowatt power source.