Nikola Motor Co., which is developing a Class 8 hydrogen-electric truck, appointed Bosch Group and PowerCell AB the primary suppliers of the truck’s fuel cells — key elements of the truck’s powertrain.
The Nikola fuel cell is anticipated to output more than 300 kilowatts continuously. It has been designed to handle the entire lease period of 1 million miles per truck, and is one of the most power-dense and advanced fuel cells ever built, according to the Salt Lake City-based company.
“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 CEO Trevor Milton said in a statement.
Nikola announced in September its intention to jointly develop with Bosch a custom-designed fuel cell system for the truck. Fuel cells produce a chemical reaction using hydrogen and oxygen, generating electricity that can be stored in batteries. Nikola trucks will carry a bank of over 32,000 lithium-ion batteries.
Stuttgart, Germany-based Bosch also will supply Nikola with its eAxle, which has a motor, power electronics and transmission in one unit.
PowerCell AB of Sweden is the primary stack supplier for the fuel cells in the first pre-production testing vehicles.
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 the fall of 2018. Following its release, the Nikola Two will undergo a rigorous 12-month testing period in extreme climates. Full production is slated for 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.