The highly-aerodynamic sleeper cab tractor features an 800V hydrogen fuel-cell system that supplies electricity to a 320kW/h lithium-ion battery pack, which in turn powers individual wheel motors on the 6x6 tractor.
Compressed hydrogen for the fuel cell is stored in tanks behind the cab.
NMC quotes an impressive 1,000bhp and 2,700Nm of torque for the Nikola One. However, due to gear-reduction on the two-speed wheel motors, final torque levels are significantly higher.
The Nikola One has a conventional chassis frame with all-round independent suspension provided by Meritor based on its Protec system, along with Meritor EX225 air-disc brakes.
Thanks to its hydrogen fuel-cell/electric motor drivetrain the new truck is not only a ‘zero-emission’ tractor but also very quiet. NMC says it also surpasses all US government mandates on truck emissions expected over the next 10 years, including the EPA’s recently-announced Phase 2 Green House Gas (GHG) standards.
Along with Nikola One, NMC is also developing a more conventional-looking Nikola Two day cab model, again based on its hydrogen fuel-cell technology.
The company plans to build a nationwide network of more than 50 hydrogen stations in the US for operators to begin fuelling by 2020, when the first production models are expected to hit the road.
However, NMC’s ultimate goal is to create its own network of 364 hydrogen filling stations throughout the US and Canada.
Among the many innovations planned for the electric tractor is a system called Nikola Shipments, whereby freight brokers can upload information on available loads to the truck’s large dashboard display screen.
The driver is then given a choice of routes to the load – including the most cost-effective within a given time-scale.