Nikola Developing Electric Truck Powertrain with Bosch

September 19, 2017

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The Nikola Two daycab verison of the hydrogen electric truck. Photo: Nikola Motor Company
The Nikola Two daycab verison of the hydrogen electric truck. Photo: Nikola Motor Company

Nikola Motor Company and Bosch have teamed up to develop an electric powertrain designed for Nikola’s long-haul electric heavy-duty trucks.

The development partnership will bring to market a fuel cell and commercial vehicle eAxle for Nikola’s Class 8 hydrogen-electric truck, slated for production by 2021. Nikola plans to launch the Nikola One and Two, daycab and sleeper versions of its electric truck, that promise 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 lb.-ft. of torque.

The eAxle developed by Bosch is a scalable, modular platform, with the motor, power electronics and transmission in a single unit. It is designed to be suitable for vehicles of all kinds. Nikola and Bosch will use this technology to create a dual-motor commercial vehicle eAxle designed for a long-haul truck.

Trevor Milton, CEO and founder of the Nikola Motor Company, recently told HDT that after the December 2016 unveiling of the Nikola truck, his design team went back and literally redesigned the truck from the wheels up. “We made a lot of improvement in that redesign and we’re in the final steps of that process now,” Milton says. “We’ll have trucks on the road in fleet tests in the third quarter of 2018.”

The eAxles will be paired with a custom-designed fuel cell system – also being developed jointly by Nikola and Bosch – designed to deliver the desired vehicle range. The overall vehicle controls will also be jointly developed based upon Bosch's vehicle control software and hardware. Bosch and Nikola will also jointly develop the overall powertrain system for the Nikola lineup, which will include the safety concept and vehicle electrical architecture.

"We have been aggressively pursuing our goal of bringing the most advanced semi-truck ever built to market," said Trevor Milton, Nikola Founder and CEO. "The powertrain requires an innovative and flexible partner able to adapt quickly to the speed of our team. Bosch has empowered us to come to market quickly with automotive-grade hardware and software so our vision can become a reality."

"Breakthrough mobility technology requires visionary targets, speed to-market and disciplined structure to ensure long-term success," said Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management responsible for the commercial vehicle organization . "Together with Nikola we are pushing ourselves to realize new levels of technological achievement and market penetration."

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