The Nikola Tre Is a Europe-Bound Semi Powered by Hydrogen
Promises to be competitive against conventional diesel trucksby Andrei Nedelea, on
Nikola was founded in early 2016 and announced plans to make a production version of the big rig concept they showed at the time, one which they planned to make and sell for North America. Two years later and the company has come out with this futuristic looking concept for a truck destined to exclusively operate in Europe, although it uses the same hydrogen-electric setup as the original concept.
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Called Nikola Tre (its name means “three” in the Norwegian language) it previews the company’s idea for a Europe-only truck with several power outputs, improved performance over conventional diesel trucks and comparable range and refill times too.
The company says the longest-range version of the Tre should be able to cover as much as 745 miles (1,200 km) on one tank of hydrogen, which is almost competitive compared to diesels, and that it shouldn’t take any more than 20 minutes to fill it up again.
Nikola envisions there will be several power outputs available, ranging between 500 and 1,000 horsepower, and as much as 2,000 pound-feet / 2,700 Nm of torque, as well two chassis configurations: 6x4 and 6x2. The driver will be on board to supervise the smooth running of the truck which is apparently going to be capable of level 5 autonomous driving.
The plan is to start testing the Tre on European roads by 2020 and production could be kicked off as early as 2023/2024.
But just making the truck won’t be enough as the network of hydrogen filling stations is nowhere near sufficient, so Nikola will also have to invest in expanding it.
If you’re wondering where they’ll have the money to not only develop a competitive alternative fuel truck and a continent-wide array of hydrogen stations, the company claims it’s managed to amass no less than $11-billion through pre-orders alone. They estimate the hydrogen filling point network will be in place by 2030.
So far the Tre is just a rendering and the company has not showed it in the metal like they did with Nikola One, the truck it plans to start selling in North America around the same time it plans to start selling the Euro model. For the US and Canada, the manufacturer intends to open as many as 700 hydrogen fill-up points by 2028.
Read our full review on the 2020 Nikola One.
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