Nikola Testing Hydrogen-Electric Trucks

Posted on January 22, 2019

Anheuser-Busch Cos. and U.S. Xpress Enterprises will plan to begin fleet tests on Nikola Motor Co.’s zero-emissions hydrogen electric Class 8 trucks by the end of 2019. Trevor Milton, CEO and founder of Nikola, has said that their battery is almost 400 watt-hours per liter which rivals other batteries by 50-70% more energy dense. Milton has also stated that Nikola’s 240-kilowatt fuel cell is the biggest that he knows of. Nikola’s Class 8 trucks have two of these fuel cells built into them and there has been about 11,000 orders for these trucks.

Over the next seven years, Nikola plans to build 700 hydrogen fueling stations in the U.S. The first handful of stations are predicted to be operational by 2021 with two stations currently being built in Phoenix. These stations will be able to produce more than 1,000 kilograms of hydrogen. “Then we go to stations that produce 24,000 kilograms a day. We focus on dominating the hydrogen-production side, and the truck is a catalyst to drive the cost of the hydrogen down,” says Milton. Nikola’s hopes are to share stations with companies like Daimler or Hyundai who are also in the hydrogen production industry.

Daimler Trucks North America happens to be the leader in retail sales for Class 8 trucks in the United States. Milton believes that once Nikola has their hydrogen-electric trucks out on the road and other companies see that these models are in working order that they will jump in. “…Daimler will come right in. But there is enough room. I actually welcome it. When Daimler comes in, the world takes notice and they know it’s legit.”

Contributor: Mary Winter 

References: Gilroy, Roger. “Nikola Moves Closer to Marketing Hydrogen-Electric Trucks.” Transport Topics, Transport Topics, 16 Jan. 2019,

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