ACT News 2017

Nikola’s FCs & H2 – Perry Named COO

November 19, 2017 in Companies, Electric Drive, fuel cells, Hydrogen, Infrastructure, people, trucking by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

PowerCell AB for the New Class 8 Trucks’ Fuel Cell Stacks,
With Norway’s Nel ASA for a 16-Station H2 Fueling Network
As Nikola Rocks Truck World by Hiring Scott Perry from Ryder

Nikola Motor has named PowerCell AB and Bosch as the primary suppliers of fuel cells for its Class 8 hydrogen-fueled electric truck, and Norway’s Nel ASA “as the sole equipment supplier to create the largest hydrogen network in the world that will cover over 2,000 miles and include 16 stations.”

This item was initially posted on November 16

Nikola Motor CEO Trevor Wilson detailed his plans to revolutionize over-the-road trucking early this past December.

Nel will use alkaline electrolysis to produce the hydrogen fuel on-site, “whenever possible by using wind, solar and hydro-electricity,” Nikola says.

Separately, a low-key Nikola personnel announcement included the bombshell news that Scott Perry, a 25-year veteran of Ryder System, has joined Nikola to help commercialize the Salt Lake City company’s vision of an emissions-free, hydrogen-powered over-the-road trucking system. Perry is now Nikola COO.

Bosch for Driveline, Backup Stack Supplier Planned

Nikola and Ryder announced a sales-and-service collaboration when Nikola unveiled its hydrogen truck late last year (F&F, December 2, 2016).

Scott Perry

Sweden’s PowerCell AB is the primary stack supplier for the fuel cells in the first pre-production Nikola testing vehicles. “If all goes well during road testing,” Nolola says, “PowerCell will be integrated into the production lineup.” Nikola says it will name a “backup and overflow” stack supplier next year.

The Nikola fuel cell is to put out more than 300 kilowatts continuously, the company says: “one of the most power-dense and advanced fuel cells ever built… designed to handle the entire lease period of one million miles per truck.”

Bosch Has the Experience

Nikola had previously named Bosch as its electric driveline supplier (F&F, September 22).

“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,” Nikola Motor CEO Trevor Milton says in the company’s fuel cell supplier release. “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.”

Nikola says that a fully operational, pre-production Nikola Two day-cab will begin testing in fall 2018: “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.”

First 5,000 with Fitzgerald Gliders

The first 5,000 Nikola trucks are to be built at Fitzgerald Gliders in Tennessee while Nikola builds its own manufacturing facility. The location of the Nikola factory is to be disclosed in early 2018.

Hydrogen-fueled ‘Nikola One’ in Ryder System livery

Nikola named Oslo-based Nel for its initial network of 16 hydrogen fueling stations yesterday. “Nikola has already kicked off two of the 16 stations and 14 more will follow immediately after installation,” the company says.

“Nikola has issued Nel a purchase order for the first two stations, based on Nel’s alkaline electrolysers and H2Station technology,” Milton said. “Our teams have decided to double our initial station number to 16 by reducing the size of the stations and create more hydrogen lanes.”

Two Levels of Pressure

The Nikola fueling facilities are to initially produce up to eight tons of hydrogen daily, but can be expanded up to 32 tons per day. Nel will provide engineering, electrolysis, and fueling equipment. Nikola will provide the balance of plant, construction, dispensers and other station equipment.

Hydrogen will be dispensed at both 700 and 350 bar – 10,000 and 5,000 psi.

‘Thousands of Trucks’ Reserved

“We have thousands of trucks that have been reserved and need to be delivered,” new Nikola COO Perry said in yesterday’s fueling infrastructure announcement. “The stations are the first step to completing that process.”

“Nel has delivered over 3,500 hydrogen solutions in over 80 countries since 1927,” Perry said. “We are confident they can deliver.”

Nikola is promising a Class 8 hydrogen-electric truck lineup ‘that will deliver more than 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 ft. lbs. of torque – nearly double the horsepower of any semi-truck on the road.’

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Source: Nikola Motor with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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