Nikola Motor Company named Bosch and PowerCell Sweden AB as primary suppliers in the development of the fuel-cell system for the Nikola Two day-cab Class 8 hydrogen-electric truck targeted for 2021 production.
With an anticipated output of more than 300 kW continuously, the Nikola fuel cell has been designed to handle the entire lease period of one million miles per truck. According to the company, the Nikola fuel cell is one of the most power dense and advanced fuel cells ever built and is a significant piece to the Nikola drivetrain.
“Our relationship with Bosch also gives us access to their experienced engineering team which is one of the largest and most respected in the world,” said Nikola Motor CEO Trevor Milton in a release statement. “This relationship will be helpful in bringing our products to market as quickly and safely as possible. Design of reliable systems for commercial vehicles takes decades of experience and Bosch brings that to our relationship.”
A Bosch spokesperson told Truck & Off-Highway Engineering that its role is focused on system development. “Nikola and Bosch have a joint development partnership," he said. "We are working together to commercialize the world’s first true dual-motor commercial-vehicle eAxle for a long-haul truck. In addition, Bosch and Nikola are working together on a custom-designed fuel-cell system. Overall vehicle controls will also be jointly developed based upon Bosch’s vehicle control software and hardware.”
Nordic fuel-cell company PowerCell Sweden AB is joining the fuel-cell development team as the primary stack supplier for the fuel cells in the first pre-production testing vehicles. If all goes well during road testing, PowerCell S3 (100 kW) will be integrated into the production lineup. Nikola says it plans to announce a secondary stack supplier in 2018 that will act as a backup and overflow for any testing issues or production bottlenecks.
The fully operational, pre-production Nikola Two day-cab will begin testing in fall of 2018. Following its release, the Nikola Two will undergo a rigorous 12-month testing period in extreme climates. Nikola said this testing period will give the company valuable data in preparation for full production in 2021.
The first 5000 trucks will be built at Fitzgerald Gliders in Tennessee while Nikola builds its own manufacturing facility. The company plans to announce the location of its manufacturing facility in early 2018.
Read more about Nikola’s trucks and development activities at http://articles.sae.org/15616/.