Futuristic hydrogen-powered semi-truck can go 1,200 miles on one refueling

Posted on Dec 2 2016 - 3:57am by Huzoor Bux



Futuristic.

Image: Nikola Motor Company

This sleek new vehicle could be the big rig of the future. 

On Thursday night, the Nikola Motor Company unveiled a hydrogen-powered semi-truck it claims can travel 1,200 miles on a single refueling. 

The Nikola One relies on an electric drivetrain running on lithium batteries, all powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. 

“Oh, that thing is so awesome,” said an emotional Trevor Milton, Nikola’s founder and CEO, as he unveiled the truck in Salt Lake City. “We’ve been waiting so long to show this to the world.”

Image: Nikola Motor Company

The Nikola One will come with high-tech features like collision avoidance, aided by 12 cameras. The company also says it plans to offer features like an on-board 4K TV, Apple TV integration and Wi-Fi. 

Pre-orders are being taken now, with trucks expected to be delivered in 3 to 4 years. 

Nikola will also have to build out infrastructure to support the trucks. The goal is to start building its 364 planned refueling stations across the country for 2019.

The company says it will develop 100-megawatt solar farms to create hydrogen from electrolysis. That fuel will be transported to hydrogen stations in Nikola trucks, making the entire process “100 percent emissions free,” according to the company’s website.  

The plan is to give customers free hydrogen fuel for the first million miles. 

A graph showing the path from energy production to energy consumption in the Nikola ecosystem.

A graph showing the path from energy production to energy consumption in the Nikola ecosystem.

The initial batch of vehicles will be built by Fitzgerald — a major manufacturer of semi-trucks — until Nikola completes its own $1 billion facility, the location of which the company plans to reveal next year. 

Like cars from Tesla, the Nikola One will receive over-the-air updates to keep its software current. Milton acknowledged the Tesla comparisons on Thursday night, saying he didn’t consider Elon Musk’s company a competitor, but a trailblazer who “paved the way” for his electric semi-trucks. 

BONUS: An ex-Tesla engineer fixed everything that’s wrong with the hoverboard



Source link