Nikola unveils new truck equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell that can travel 1,200 miles on a single tank of fuel

December 6, 2016 0 By Bret Williams

New truck could be the most efficient vehicle of its kind

Automaker Nikola Motor Company has unveiled a new class 8 truck that will be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The massive truck is designed for heavy-duty transportation and will be a much more environmentally friendly solution for companies interested in cutting down on emissions and fuel consumption. According to Nikola, the new truck will be able to travel as much as 1,200 miles on a single tank of hydrogen fuel. The vehicle is expected to be released at some point in 2020.

Nikola One is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell system

Called the Nikola One, the truck could be the most efficient vehicle of its kind, in terms of fuel consumption. The truck will also be able to deliver more than 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. This makes the Nikola One almost twice as powerful as its conventional, diesel-powered counterparts. Being equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell also means that the truck will not generate any harmful emissions, with the only byproduct of its operation being water vapor and oxygen.

Lack of infrastructure support may slow the adoption of fuel cell vehicles

While the truck may seem like an ideal solution to long-haul transportation, it will face many challenges before it can be considered a success. The greatest of these challenges is the lack of a comprehensive hydrogen network. With very few hydrogen stations available, the Nikola One may only see use in a very limited area. Nikola is already working to overcome this issue, of course, and plans to build 364 hydrogen stations across the United States and Canada. The company will begin building these fueling stations in 2018.

Nikola will face competition from other companies investing in fuel cells

Nikola will also face competition from Tesla Motors, which has plans to build an articulated truck of its own in the coming years. Several other automakers have also begun developing and launching vehicles equipped with fuel cells, though few are building long-haul trucks. By the time Nikola One is launched in 2020, a comprehensive hydrogen network may already be in place. This is because many automakers investing in fuel cell technology are also working to build the infrastructure needed to support their vehicles that use a hydrogen fuel cell.

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