Fuel Smarts

Nikola Sources Fuel Cell Suppliers

November 09, 2017

Image via Nikola Motor Company
Image via Nikola Motor Company

Nikola Motor Company has officially named Bosch and PowerCell AB as the primary suppliers of its fuel cells for the upcoming Nikola Class 8 hydrogen-electric truck.

The fuel cell used in the Nikola truck is projected to output more than 300 kilowatts continuously and was designed to handle the lease period of one million miles per truck. Nikola says its fuel cell will be one of the most power dense and advanced fuel cells on the market and is a critical piece of the Nikola drivetrain.

Nikola has been a partner with Nikola on the electric powertrain, developing a dual-motor commercial vehicle powertrain based on the company’s eAxel design as well as the fuel cell.

“Our relationship with Bosch also gives us access to their experienced engineering team which is one of the largest and most respected in the world,” said Nikola Motor CEO Trevor Milton. “This relationship will be helpful in bringing our products to market as quickly and safely as possible. Design of reliable systems for commercial vehicles takes decades of experience and Bosch brings that to our relationship.”

Joining the fuel cell development team is PowerCell AB of Sweden as the primary stack supplier for the fuel cells in the first pre-production testing vehicles. If all goes well during road testing, PowerCell will be integrated into the production lineup, according to Nikola.  Nikola plans to announce a secondary stack supplier in 2018 that will act as a backup and overflow for any testing issues or production bottlenecks.

The fully operational, pre-production Nikola Two day-cab will begin testing in Fall of 2018. Following its release, the Nikola Two will undergo a rigorous 12-month testing period in extreme climates. This testing period will give the company valuable data in preparation for full production in 2021.

The first 5,000 trucks will be built at Fitzgerald Gliders in Tennessee while Nikola builds its own manufacturing facility.  The location of the Nikola manufacturing facility will be named in early 2018.

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