Nikola Corporation, which designs and manufactures hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and hydrogen stations, showcased five new zero-emission products at its Nikola World event on April 16 at WestWorld of Scottsdale.
Nikola CEO Trevor Milton gave thousands of attendees a first peek into a global zero-emission future. “We want to transform everything about the transportation industry,” said Milton. “With Nikola’s vision, the world will be cleaner, safer and healthier.”
Nikola Reckless: The first product unveiled was the autonomous-capable Nikola Reckless, the military all-terrain vehicle that was driven on stage via remote control. Electric motors drive each wheel on the Reckless. The company says the electric ATV offers increased efficiency, instant power, improved reliability and regenerative stopping power across all types of terrain.
A lower centre of gravity means more control, faster cornering, and fewer rollovers. The batteries on the Reckless are installed inside the bottom frame rail, moving the motors to each wheel and keeping a majority of the weight at or below your feet. The Nikola Reckless delivers up to 775 ft-lbs of peak torque and the wide RPM range makes the Reckless ideal for all types of driving; rock crawling, dunes, snow and trails.
The Reckless has the power capacity available to support anything from remote weapon systems to powering command centers. Reckless is nearly silent and has a low thermal signature due to its state-of-the-art refrigerant cooling system.
The Reckless has been designed with modularity in mind. Multiple technologies and components can be easily added as needed With 4 motors, if one were to get damaged, Reckless can still operate at high performance. Nikola says he Reckless is the only OHV built that does not require air to operate. An IP67 rating on all parts means you can submerge the Reckless in water up to 1 metre for 30 minutes.
“With virtually no sound and no heat signature, the Reckless provides new meaning to stealth and is defying all standards,” said Andrew Christian, Nikola Powersports vice president of business development and defense. “We believe all military vehicles will transform to battery electric and hydrogen fuel cells in the future.”
Milton and Nikola Powersports president Michael Erickson highlighted how Nikola is transforming zero-emission recreational vehicles on land and water. “The technology and platforms we are developing are mutually beneficial helping us leverage speed to market and scale,” said Erickson. “With our powersports products, you have an experience that is safer with precise control and a near silent ride that heightens your senses.”
NZT OHV: Like the Reckless, the NZT Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) comes standard with 4 independent motors, one at each wheel. These Nikola-designed e-axles integrate inverter, gearbox and e-motors all-in-one and are what make staggering performance benchmarks like 590 horsepower and 775 ft-lbs of torque possible.
Efficiently power balanced front to rear with high density torque e-axles and a single gear ratio, the e-axles are the heart of the Nikola NZ. And don't worry about getting them wet. IP68 rated means these electric motors are completely waterproof!
The AZT develops up to 590hp, 775 lb ft of torque and does 0-100kph in 4 seconds. It has a 150-mile/240km range.
Nikola WAV: The Nikola Water Adventure Vehicle (WAV) concept was showcased for the first time ever. Jordan Darling, vice president of Nikola Powersports and an industry pioneer in the electrification of personal watercraft, said “We at Nikola are creating the world's first 'wakeboard' architecture, which enables us to push the limits in design and propulsion.”
“Nikola is bringing zero-emission sustainability and technology to the water,” added Milton. “With WAV, you can feel the rush of power and acceleration in your chest, with the sound of the water and breeze in your ears. It’s zero impact and pure fun,” Darling added.
Nikola’s executive vice-president of Hydrogen Jesse Schneider spoke about Nikola’s hydrogen fuel cell vision. The vision consists of the world’s first purpose-built fuel cell Class 8 truck, enabling more hydrogen storage, optimized placement of the powertrain, and a robust 70MPa hydrogen fueling network. “We recently opened our first hydrogen station at our Phoenix headquarters. We are leading the way and working with industry and other OEMs to develop hydrogen standards to enable fueling in less than 15 minutes. The goal is safety and interoperability, so that anyone can fuel at our station. This is a big deal,” he said.
Hydrogen-fueled Nikola Tre targeted at Europe. Has a range between 500 and 750 miles (800 to 1,200 kilometres) depending upon the load.
Nikola Tre: For the European market, Nikola president Mark Russell and Milton unveiled the never-before-seen Nikola Tre with its clean, contemporary design. “With a range between 500 and 750 miles (800 to 1200 kilometres) depending upon load, this gorgeous vehicle will have fast hydrogen fueling in under 15 minutes, even in Europe,” said Russell. “Think about Europe with no more diesel trucks,” said Milton. “The roads will be clean, quiet and beautiful.”
Nikola Two: The Nikola Two hydrogen-electric powered semi-truck, billed as the “the most advanced commercial truck the world has ever seen" was seen live in action for the first time to the general public at its Nikola World event.
Bosch technology and expertise helped Nikola to realise the fully functional Nikola Two hydrogen-electric truck with industry-ready heavy-duty truck components and systems. The technology and system approach is adaptable for use in Nikola’s full line of vehicles, including the Nikola One Sleeper Cab and the Nikola Tre.
"Bosch has been our innovation partner to help make our vision a reality," said Trevor Milton, Nikola founder and CEO.
The Nikola trucks feature innovations in automation, connectivity and electrification enabled with Bosch’s assistance. The supplier of technology and services offers solutions for commercial vehicles to improve efficiency and safety in logistics. To enable the distinctive Nikola approach, engineering teams from Bosch locations in the United States and Germany contributed more than 220,000 hours into the development of the Nikola trucks.
There are currently more than 13,000 Nikola trucks on order. The Nikola trucks feature up to 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 ft-lbs of torque. Nikola recently announced a battery-electric vehicle option for the urban, short haul trucking market.
All of the Nikola products have been built for the future with autonomous driving hardware in place. “We now have five products in development that will change transportation for the better,” concluded Milton.