Here come electric Class 8 trucks!
Nikola Motors of Salt Lake City just may be the Tesla of the heavy duty truck world. Hey good buddy, are you ready for big rigs powered by electricity and fueled by renewable hydrogen?
It was announced in today’s Sacramento Bee that the California capital is in the running for Nikola’s main assembly plant against several other western U.S. locations. And much like Tesla, a ring of (in this case hydrogen) refueling locations are planned across the country.
This Class 8 prototype moves away from what has been increasingly clean diesel-powered trucks toward an electric future. Anyone who doubts the power of electric propulsion should consider diesel-electric railroad locomotives, major cities’ subway and trolley systems, and industrial motors found in manufacturing. All of these operate in ranges above 600 volts, plenty of power to push a fully loaded, U.S. big rig.
The performance numbers for Nikola One are impressive, and the fuel cell powered by hydrogen moves us away from the greenhouse gases of combustion while opening a pathway to store and distribute the nation’s daytime surplus of solar PV generation as a (portable) carbonless power source.
Transportation continues to be the country’s leading contributor to pollution and greenhouse gases. More than the idea, theory, or pipe dream—electric transportation is coming of age and promises future defense against climate change while expanding sustainability with renewable fuels. The all-wheel drive Nikola One develops 50% more horsepower and 40% more torque and weighs less than today’s most powerful highway rigs with double the mileage and range between fill-ups.
An excellent post by Mark McNabb in the Truck Reviews section of the Top Speed website covers the details, and CaliforniaGeo has posted an excerpt at this LINK.