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Old 14th June 2016, 15:26   #1
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Lightbulb Nikola: American Electric Truck Maker bags 7,000 bookings

Nikola will unveil its first electric truck prototype on December 2, 2016, in Salt Lake City, and has already over 7,000 reservations for the production model.

Their model is classified as an electric class 8 semi-truck, and is called the Nikola One;

Nikola: American Electric Truck Maker bags 7,000 bookings-electrictruckmakernikolaraises23billioninfirstmonthofpresales_6.jpg

Nikola: American Electric Truck Maker bags 7,000 bookings-electrictruckmakernikolaraises23billioninfirstmonthofpresales_5.jpg

Nikola: American Electric Truck Maker bags 7,000 bookings-electrictruckmakernikolaraises23billioninfirstmonthofpresales_2.jpg

Instead of diesel or petrol, the truck uses CNG. However, its not a hybrid as the CNG utilised by this vehicle does not go to a motor that is linked to the wheels.

The truck is powered by 6 electric motors, which are backed by a 320 kWh Lithium-Ion battery. The latter is charged by a range extending turbine, which will only operate when the battery pack requires it.

The best part is that Nikola provides its customers with the first Million miles of fuel included for every truck sale, a move which offsets 100% of the monthly lease for each owner. According to Nikola a diesel truck would have used around $400,000 in fuel for the same mileage, along with maintenance bills of over $100,000 for the distance, and Nikola includes those as well

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Old 14th June 2016, 17:48   #2
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Default re: Nikola: American Electric Truck Maker bags 7,000 bookings

Specs from Nikola Site:
  • 6X6 100% ELECTRIC DRIVE
  • ZERO IDLE
  • MANY TIMES CLEANER THAN DIESEL ENGINES
  • 1/2 THE FUEL COST PER MILE COMPARED TO DIESEL
  • 3,700 FT. LBS TORQUE
  • 2,000 HORSEPOWER
  • 1,200 MILES RANGE
  • 320 kWh BATTERY
  • 1 MILLION MILES FREE FUEL*
  • REGENERATIVE BRAKING
  • NO COMPETITION
  • NEVER PLUG IN - TURBINE CHARGES BATTERIES AUTOMATICALLY WHILE DRIVING
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Old 14th June 2016, 17:49   #3
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Default re: Nikola: American Electric Truck Maker bags 7,000 bookings

I always wondered why no one has taken up electric route for big trucks, I mean why wouldn't you do it! Cars have limitations when it comes to electric vehicles e.g. extra space required for batteries, keeping the center of gravity low etc. These things can be sorted out on big trucks easily. Plus not to mention the massive torque of electric motors being helpful for these big boys help hauling loads! Although heavy load means lesser range.

And now here we kickoff with Nikola.

I Like.
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Old 15th June 2016, 12:49   #4
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Default Re: Nikola: American Electric Truck Maker bags 7,000 bookings

Every Nikola isn't a Tesla (pun intended).

While I'll be happy to be proven wrong, this seems to be a big sham. The company is less than 2 years old and its young CEO has no experience in trucking. As of now, he's claiming that deliveries will start after 3 years.

And yes, as expected, they are actively looking for venture capital funding .

We've been seeing a lot of these companies that announce grand plans, only to sink without a trace later. I remain sceptical.
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Old 15th June 2016, 16:48   #5
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Default Re: Nikola: American Electric Truck Maker bags 7,000 bookings

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Every Nikola isn't a Tesla (pun intended).


Though the company is named after the famous electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, the name of the Founder and CEO is Trevor Milton.

Quote:
We've been seeing a lot of these companies that announce grand plans, only to sink without a trace later. I remain sceptical.
I Agree, but as of now just going by the design i really think their truck looks better than OPTIMUS PRIME as well
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Old 15th June 2016, 18:25   #6
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Default Re: Nikola: American Electric Truck Maker bags 7,000 bookings

Looks too promising to be true.

I have always wondered as Ace F355 has also called out, why Trucks and Buses have still not touched the e-route, and have always stuck to the hydrocarbon fuels.

Not sure if other big names MAN or Volvo or Mercedes and others are actively working on R&D for electric trucks. Would be interesting to see.
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Old 16th June 2016, 10:58   #7
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Default Re: Nikola: American Electric Truck Maker bags 7,000 bookings

So lets see they are basically replicating the diesel locomotive model here.
In diesel locos, the diesel runs a generator which in turn drive the electric motors.

Why? Because internal combustion engines are really poor in torque and bhp characteristics. Electric motors offer a vastly better control.

Now why has this not been used in road transport?
Simple: Why bear the burden of DG set and motors, when you can run on the engine only.

In this truck's case - I see they have mentioned some TURBINE!
A turbine? I see a loads maintenance problems cropping up later in life of this truck.

The batteries mentioned appear to be meant to get charged by regenerative braking.
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Old 27th June 2016, 10:42   #8
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Default Re: Nikola: American Electric Truck Maker bags 7,000 bookings

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Every Nikola isn't a Tesla (pun intended).

While I'll be happy to be proven wrong, this seems to be a big sham. The company is less than 2 years old and its young CEO has no experience in trucking. As of now, he's claiming that deliveries will start after 3 years.

And yes, as expected, they are actively looking for venture capital funding .

We've been seeing a lot of these companies that announce grand plans, only to sink without a trace later. I remain sceptical.
I agree. 2 years is the timeline taken for development of a single feature in a established truck. This is too fast from a new truck maker.

There was no clamour for electric with heavy duty trucks. From a conference I attended , I understand that the road map for the next 20 years has hybrids slowly scaling up for Light duty trucks. Diesel is the only solution for heavy trucking for the next 20 years at least.

On a side note: Regenerative braking is no useful for heavy duty. These trucks ply on the highway where you dont brake for hours together. And even when you brake you are expected to make use of exhaust braking.
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Old 8th August 2016, 16:12   #9
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Default Re: Nikola: American Electric Truck Maker bags 7,000 bookings

Update;

The 1st prototype of this truck will be unveiled on 2nd December 2016

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Old 19th August 2016, 06:49   #10
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Default Re: Nikola: American Electric Truck Maker bags 7,000 bookings

This model seems to be built for highway application and battery range constraint will be on the mind of potential buyers.

This youtube video about a tram like setup for HCVs for highway transportation looks like a good alternative:



A combination of OHE to run and charge batteries on highways and battery powered transport in cities could address the battery range constraint. LCVs and MCVs operating within cities could also be good candidates for electric powertrains.
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