Nikola now says it will have both electric and hydrogen-electric trucks.

Nikola now says it will have both electric and hydrogen-electric trucks.

Image: Nikola

Nikola Motors exploded onto the scene three years ago, initially promising an all-electric, long-haul, tractor. Almost immediately, that mission statement was amended, detailing a hybrid hydrogen-battery electric drive system, which Nikola said would give its truck 1,000 miles of range between refueling stops.

But it appears the company never gave up on its initial, proposed, all-electric truck. In a surprise tweet late last week, the company announced that at its Nikola World technology showcase in April it will announce short-haul, battery-electric versions of the Nikola Two and Nikola Tre in addition to the hydrogen-electric model.

Nikola said the all-electric truck is designed for inner city delivery routes and weight-sensitive applications. However, the company stressed that it is not phasing out hydrogen drivetrains. Indeed, Nikola said it is expecting to see 50 times the number of orders for hydrogen drivetrains over electric ones – but noted that in some applications, battery-electric trucks “work great.”

Details are sketchy – Twitter being what it is – but Nikola did give away some additional information on the news in a series of additional Tweets. Both trucks will be offered in 500kWh, 750kWh and 1mWh versions. And there will be an option to spec Nikola’s hydrogen-electric drivetrain instead of a battery-electric one.

Looking specifically at the Nikola Two model, the company tweeted that it will be an 80,000 lbs. vehicle that uses 2.25 kWh per mile in most applications. The 1 MWh model has a range of 400 miles, which falls to 300 miles in cold weather, the company said.

The Nikola Tre previously was announced as a fully electric hydrogen-powered day cab tractor aimed at markets in Europe.

Nikola unveiled its first hydrogen-electric prototype, the Nikola One, in December 2016.

The official word debut for the Nikola Two and Nikola Tre is stated for the Nikola World technology fair in Scottsdale, Arizona, April 16 and 17, 2019.

About the author
Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts

Executive Editor

Jack Roberts is known for reporting on advanced technology, such as intelligent drivetrains and autonomous vehicles. A commercial driver’s license holder, he also does test drives of new equipment and covers topics such as maintenance, fuel economy, vocational and medium-duty trucks and tires.

View Bio