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Nikoka » One

In May 2016, Nikola announced plans for a range-extended electric Class 8 commercial semi truck, and it was shown to people outside the company for the first time at a media event in Salt Lake City. Called the Nikola One, it was originally described as using natural-gas turbines to generate electricity, but Nikola subsequently said that U.S. and Canadian versions would use hydrogen fuel cells instead.

Scheduled to start production by 2020, it is powered by six electric motors, which will provide over 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 pound-feet of torque. Nikola claims that is nearly double the amount of any diesel semi truck currently on the road, although it is also lower than the 2,000 hp and 3,700 lb-ft quoted by the company earlier this year. That power is sent to the wheels via a two-speed transmission.

Nikola quotes a range of 800 to 1,200 miles between hydrogen fill-ups, and the truck's 320-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack can also be recharged by plugging in. However, Nikola expects the fuel cells to be the main power source. To provide hydrogen for those fuel cells, Nikola has said it will build a network of hydrogen stations. Nikola previously said hydrogen will be produced using solar farms generating 100 megawatts or more of electricity apiece that it will construct.

the Nikola One, when compared to a traditional diesel rig, will be about 2,000 pounds lighter. If you take weight out of the cab, you can add it onto the payload, which means you can move more goods, and more goods means more money. The on-board hydrogen fuel cell will feed energy into 320-kWh lithium battery built into the frame rail that will power the truck's electric motors. That means, as any hydrogen advocate can tell you, that the only thing coming out of the tailpipe will be water vapor. By getting rid of the diesel powertrain, the Nikola One will also eliminate the need for much of the maintenance that is currently required for semi trucks, from oil changes to DEF refills.

Since the Nikola One can idle without any emissions, it won't run afoul of anti-idling laws, and the energy on board will be more than enough to get Rip Van Winkle through his longest nap. The One's short nose means that a driver can see the road in front of them fairly easily, and since the door is in the middle of the cab, it will be easier to get in and out of the One than a standard cab. The driver will also be able to use safety features that are common in passenger vehicles but definitely not in semis, like surround vision, and the thin A-pillars offer an almost-panoramic forward view.

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