11.09.16 - Nikola One

The Secret is Out

In Green Cars by Lauren Gailli

Are there actual secrets that are kept in the automotive industry? Of course there are. Many of the secrets that are kept come in the form of veiled information until finalization of a decision or approval of the product or agreement between two companies. The most recent secret that’s been kept is by Nikola Motor which gave us a bit of a head scratching answer to some questions. These questions have now been answered with the actual information regarding what will be used and how it will make the claims of the company come to life.

Nikola Motor is a trucking startup that’s aiming it sights at building a big rig that’s not only hybrid in nature, but able to run and produce zero emissions. The plan is to have a 2000 horsepower turbine electric engine that’s emissions free. This seemed to be a bit of an oddity since the first power source the vehicle was supposed to use would be natural gas but that would produce emissions and wouldn’t fit the claim of the company to have zero emissions for this vehicle. While this is the head scratching part of the equation the news that was recently offered gives us the answer to this dilemma.

The most recent news is that the new big rig called Nikola One will actually be powered by hydrogen. Not only will it use hydrogen, but the company will produce the hydrogen themselves. The Nikola One will use an 800V hydrogen-electric fuel cell and will be able to achieve a 20 mpg fuel mileage and have a range of up to 12000 miles. All this while producing zero emissions and offering more power than a diesel engine puts out. If this is able to happen, this new big rig will be revolutionary in the world of trucking.

The Nikola One will use hydrogen that’s produced at the solar farms built by Nikola Motor Company. These farms will create over 100 megawatts and use electrolysis to separate the hydrogen from water which will then have zero emissions as well. The manufacturing of the hydrogen will be done in a clean way that produces nothing but oxygen from the electrolysis process. The question for me is whether or not this is actually possible on the world of production, while it still yet to be seen, the company appears to be extremely confident the Nikola One will be ready on time.

The timeframe Nikola has given for the release of this new big rig is December first to show this new truck off to the world. So far we haven’t seen anything like this on the market and it seems as if this might be a bit of a reach to happen, but hopefully it does because this change could seriously challenge the trucking world to be more efficient and effective. Right now the only zero emissions rigs on the road are made for short range hauling, this would be the first one that’s capable of much longer drives on one tank of hydrogen.