The partnership announced last September between Italy-based global commercial truck maker Iveco and U.S. based manufacturer of zero-emission trucks Nikola has entered a new stage with the unveiling on Sept. 15 of a facility to manufacture Nikola Tre electric heavy-duty trucks.
The joint venture partners said the plant, located in Ulm Germany, will enable production of the Nikola Tre electric heavy-duty trucks to begin by year’s end.
Tre on way here
The first Nikola Tre models produced in Germany will be delivered to select customers in the United States in 2022.
In addition to that battery-electric vehicle (BEV) production model, the partners said the “next evolution of this modular heavy-duty platform was also on display to the public in the form of the fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) prototype of the Nikola Tre,” which is slated to enter production in Ulm by the end of 2023.
Spanning 50,000 square meters (nearly 60,000 square yards), of which half of that is covered, the Ulm plant features a final assembly process that has been designed for "electric-born" vehicles.
The production line is currently expected to be able to manufacture approximately 1,000 units per shift per year and is expected to undergo progressive ramp-up in the following years, said the partners.
The new site, and the full first phase of industrialization, represents joint investment by Iveco and Nikola and involves a projected 160 suppliers in the process from start to finish, the manufacturers noted.
The partners stated that the Nikola Tre is based on the Iveco S-WAY cabover truck platform with an electric axle co-designed and produced by FPT Industrial. It features Nikola's advanced electric and fuel cell technology, along with key components provided by Bosch.
“Together, the teams have designed a modular platform capable of fuel cell as well as battery propulsion technology,” Nikola and Iveco said. “Launching the battery technology first will drive the maturity of the underlying platform before adding the fuel cell as a range-extension technology.”