Van, Truck, Trailer, Bus and Coach Aftermarket News in Ireland

Nikola’s TRE prototype electric truck unveiled

Nikola unveiled the prototype of their first battery electric vehicle (BEV) for European markets, the Nikola TRE – just three months after the announcement of the partnership with FPT Industrial and Iveco (both CNH brands).

The battery electric Nikola TRE will be launched at the IAA 2020 commercial vehicle exhibition in Hannover, with the first units planned to reach customers in 2021. Nicola says that the TRE is the first step on the path towards the Nikola fuel cell electric model (FCEV), which will be available to customers by 2023.

The vehicle is based on the Iveco S-Way heavy-duty truck launched in July 2019. It integrates Nikola´s advanced electric technology and new-generation proprietary infotainment system.

The TRE 4×2 tractor is for regional work, with a claimed range of up to 400 km and dynamic performance equal or better than a diesel equivalent model. The vehicle will feature a modular battery system with a total capacity of up to 800 kWh, which can be tailored to match different customers´ requirements.

The electric driveline will deliver 480 kW continuous power output with 1,800 Nm peak torque. The Nikola TRE will also be available in 2- and 3-axle rigid versions, with GCW up to 44 tonnes, for urban distribution and municipality missions.

Annalisa Stupenengo, CNH Industrial President Powertrain and FPT Industrial CEO, told us: “FPT Industrial is investing in e-mobility, both on the basis of battery-electric propulsion and hydrogen Fuel Cells. When applying renewable energy sources, e-mobility is the only technology with the potential to be zero-carbon from well-to-wheel and also carbon-neutral from tank-to-wheel. Battery-electric vehicles are gaining share in light duty applications, while hydrogen Fuel Cells are anticipated to become a reality for heavy duty applications and long distance haulage in the near future. For this reason, the partnership with Nikola Truck will further reinforce our fuel cell capability and support our leadership path in this technology.”

The TRE will feature a new infotainment system based on Nikola´s proprietary operating system that integrates infotainment and navigation functions, as well as controls for the bulk of the vehicle´s functionalities.

This system´s features include climate control, mirror adjustment, suspension height adjustment, 360-degree camera system, navigation, Bluetooth audio system, comprehensive vehicle settings and admin vehicle diagnostics. The vehicle leverages Bluetooth low energy technology to create a secure link between the vehicle and the customer´s mobile device, creating a truly hands-free media experience. This also enables a smart keyless entry system to unlock as the driver approaches the vehicle. The system can even adjust settings such as ride height and climate temperature to driver preference.

A bridge to fuel-cell electric heavy-duty trucking
Nikola and CNH have adopted a modular approach in developing their electric offering for the European market, which is unique in the industry. Nikola´s fuel cell will be the starting point for the design of the electric battery, so that the Nikola TRE BEV can be converted to fuel-cell technology.

With this approach, the partners are taking the long view, bringing both technologies on stream now to pursue BEV and FCEV in their offering in the next few years.This approach enables the partners to launch the Nikola TRE at the IAA 2020 exhibition and Nikola World 2020, delivering the first units to customers in 2021, while the FCEV will be available to customers by 2023.

FPT Industrial is a brand of CNH Industrial, dedicated to the design, production and sale of powertrains for on and off-road vehicles, marine and power generation applications. It currently offers a wide product offering, including six engine ranges from 42 hp up to 1,006 hp, transmissions with maximum torque of 200 Nm up to 500 Nm, front and rear axles from 2 to 32 ton GAW (Gross Axle Weight). FPT Industrial also offers the most complete Natural Gas engines line-up on the market for industrial applications, including engine ranges from 136 hp up to 460 hp.