The latest electric start up, Salt Lake City-based Nikola Motor Company, has now unveiled new details concerning its projects – chief among them being the zero emissions Nikola One semi-truck.
The commercial lorry will be powered by fuel cells and hydrogen instead of a more regular battery pack as originally believed. NMC says their truck will make use of a bespoke-built hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, delivering 800 volts. This will enable them to produce more power than any diesel-engined truck currently available on the US market, with a fuel-economy of almost 20 miles-per-gallon, irrespective of the load. This will enable a range of 1200 miles (1900 kilometers) between fill-ups, making it impervious to any environmental or emission regulations coming up in the near future.
Naturally, the main issue with hydrogen powered vehicles is the infrastructure. NMC says it will resolve the problem by making up its own liquid hydrogen fuel to be sold through Nikola One operators using a network of 50 stations across the U.S. and Canada, which should be up and running by the end of the decade. The fuel production will come from large-scale solar farms that deploy 100 megawatts of power – using electrolysis they will then make hydrogen out of water. The Nikola One truck will also be sold powered by a gas turbine running on compressed natural gas for the markets without an easy access to hydrogen fuel.