• Nikola Two Electric Semi Truck: When Will This Fuel Cell Truck Become Reality?


    nikola two hydrogen fuel cell electric
    Nikola Two : hydrogen fuel-cell electric semi truck

    Nikola Two is moving along on its quest to produce an electric semi truck. According to a report, the company says that first tests of the class 8 truck prototypes will commence in late 2018. The company is planning production trucks to roll out in 2021.

    The truck’s propulsion system consists of two electric motors/axles, a 320 kWh battery, and a 300-kilowatt hydrogen fuel-cell to generate the necessary power to propel the large truck to up to 1,200 miles between hydrogen re-fuel stops. The powertrain is rated at an even 1,000 hp and 2,000 lb-ft of torque.

    Nikola Motors is also said to be partnered with PowerCell AB, a fuel-cell supplier. The Nikole Two concept holds a lot of promises: lower truck weight that allow more freight capacity, better acceleration performance, regenerative braking, zero emissions operation, and more.

    You might be asking, what about the Nikola One truck that incorporate a sleeper cab for long haul trucking? The Nikola One truck is still in the picture, but Nikola plans to test and produce the Nikola One after the Nikola Two truck.

    Take a close look at this conventional turbo-diesel truck that makes a living as a car transporter.


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    55 thoughts on “Nikola Two Electric Semi Truck: When Will This Fuel Cell Truck Become Reality?

    1. No, this does not exist. Big rig hybrids are impossible. Hybrids only good for small econobox cars, not heavy duty trucks.

      Oh, this really is real. Just like all the other heavy duty hybrids i have been telling you about and TFL has been telling you about.

      1. It exists in some computer modeling software. They “hope” to have a prototype on the road a year from now. I realize the concept of a “Prototype” is difficult for you.

      2. Electrics will die as soon as their subsidies are removed. And then there will be much weeping, and gnashing of teeth among the hippies.

    2. But this is cheaper, better, faster, easier to maintain, easier to build, more powerful and all.

      Why have they done this before?

      1. Probably because it’s more expensive, slower to produce, more difficult to fuel, H2 gas is HIGHLY COMBUSTIBLE (you might as well strap a couple grenades to the bottom of the semi)…
        Oh and this tech is still in pre-op concept phase.

    3. Hush, my child. You will understand some day. For now, it is too difficult for you to understand. But some day you will.

      Some day you will.

    4. TFLT: “WHEN WILL THIS FUEL CELL TRUCK BECOME REALITY?”

      Ans: When the USA has the beginning of a coast-to-coast hydrogen infrastructure.

      H2 Fuel Cells are realistic and worth experimenting with; pure BEV “Semi” hybrids not so much, except for local city delivery. But Over-The-Road will still be the domain of diesels in the USA for decades (barring the meddling of Big Daddy Gov…(^_^)..)

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      1. Agreed, as I have stated ad nosium. But the diesel will be connected to a generator. And the wheels will be driven by electric motors. Just as Cummins has announced for 2019 and 2020. Announced, not a concept, for those who have trouble reading.

        1. It is amazing how the social culture will continue to say range is a problem and we have freight trains pulling 150 cars at 250,000Lbs each on electric drive from the East to West coast and everywhere in-between and vice versa.

          1. It’s all about application. If Hydrogen ever becomes practical, you will see locomotives change from diesel/electric to hydrogen fuel cell like this concept.

            1. Daniel – – –

              Completely off topic:
              If you continue to check this article’s comment section, I can give you some summary info on the “rolling” data method of sales analysis (vs regular).

              I don’t think Andre is going to publish those graphs this late: It’s probably considered “old news” by now.

              Let me know. I’ll check here.

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            2. Daniel (and others) – – –

              I) Here is the 1st group of Sales Data from 5 FULL-SIZE Pickups, using Calendar Year and Rolling methods:

              A) SLOPES (1st line = Calendar; 2nd line = Rolling):

              FordF…….ChevyGMC……Ram…….Tundra…….Titan
              745………….988……………285………..194………..18
              211…………..368……………172………….80…………16

              B) SALES TOTALS in 1000’s (1st line = Calendar; 2nd line = Rolling):

              FordF…….ChevyGMC……Ram…….Tundra…….Titan
              728………….644……………419………….96………..40
              887………….786……………504…………117…………47

              Daniel, you were right about the Rolling Method leveling out the low-month of January and flattening the Slopes; and it also showed overall higher Sales Totals in the period from November 2016 through October 2017.

              II) Here is the 2nd group of Sales Data from 5 MID-SIZE Pickups, using Calendar Year and Rolling methods:

              A) SLOPES (1st line = Calendar; 2nd line = Rolling):

              Colorado….Canyon…..Tacoma…..Frontier…..Ridgeline
              225……………..28…………180…………..50………..-33
              140…………….-22…………100…………..50………..-47

              B) SALES TOTALS in 1000’s (1st line = Calendar; 2nd line = Rolling):

              Colorado….Canyon…..Tacoma…..Frontier…..Ridgeline
              93……………..26…………..163…………61……………29
              102……………30…………..180…………67…………….33

              Daniel, here the Slopes were mixed: some higher and some lower; BUT the Rolling Method did show overall higher Sales Totals in the period from November 2016 through October 2017.

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          2. Trains don’t have to deal with traffic jams they pretty much have the track to themselves on their runs.

            You used a very poor example.

        2. Simple math says you don’t get out more from an equation than what you put in. You cannot burn diesel, convert it to other energy forms, and then get out more than what you put in.

          1. Leave the science out of it! This forum is about hopes and dreams not petty facts and sound understanding of basic engineering principles!

    5. Wondering why TFL does not post the ZR2 Raptor Powerwagon Monster off road video? Its on You Tube with only 47,000 views. Maybe we are just the Rednecks. Not even allowed the leftovers

      As for Electric it better be electric drive with a generator. Bernie as Rambros Bro has said long range will not be a problem with a diesel or gas generator. A diesel would stay a little cleaner when new and people would not modify a generator, at least I don’t see a benefit unless they want even better mpg, but I am all for a gas generator and electric drive. It is too bad some don’t see the dangers of diesel and keep promoting it despite the dangers when they are modified and not maintained. Look at what Europe is going through now. Birth defects, kidney, brain and lung failures to an epidemic caused by diesel emissions, proven, not speculation.

      Bernie lay off the alcohol, range will not be a problem with electric drive. lay off the Petrol too, seriously that is not healthy to smell that every morning, if you live you will suffer with mild to severe ailments you don’t need to suffer from.

      1. Rambro, they are not going to let go of direct injection gas. And direct injection gas is worse than diesel for smaller particulates. Here comes the filters and urea and all for all the gas vehicles too.

        1. Urea is used to counter NOx, not particles. Gas engines do very well as far as NOx, using a 3-way catalyst. No urea needed.

      2. Rambro – – –

        R: “Bernie lay off the alcohol, range will not be a problem with electric drive. lay off the Petrol too, seriously that is not healthy to smell that every morning, if you live you will suffer with mild to severe ailments you don’t need to suffer from.”

        I am delighted that you care about my well being. But imbibing alcohol, sniffing raw gasoline, and inhaling exhaust fumes is what CURES my ailments: Clears my head. Awakens my senses. Communes with my beloved trucks. Samples life. (Just don’t get carried away….(^_^).)

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        1. What complication. I have a potent gasoline, which will pull my trailer , no batteries needed, fills up in 5 minutes , enough range even offroad and can extend it as much , as many canisters of gasoline I can put in my bed.
          I am not going to make it more complicated for myself. Sorry bro. Honestly, electric truck would need to be much cheaper than my truck to even consider it, because it would be complication for me.

          1. That is exactly the reason why, even though the first electric vehicles were over a hundred years ago, they are not mainstream. They have far too many compromises to be practical for most people. In the future it may change, but the ICE rules today.

        1. What do you know about reality Daniel? Apparantly NOTHING! Why waste my time with reality when i can swap between my multiple personalities and professions? Sounds like a lot more work to actually learn about something than sit in mom’s basement eating Cheetos in my underwear surfing the interweb while touching myself

          1. The above post is obviously not me. I am not concerned with unsubstantiated claims of childish insults. I am concerned with truth, no matter how harsh that may be.

            1. Agreed. PUTC is not even worth looking at anymore-and it use to be so good!
              I appreciate the alternate views, just keep it above a 2nd grade level.

    6. No way to carry that much energy electrical or hydrogen on the tractor to drive 1000 miles with 80,000lb GVW, maybe 300 miles … maybe. It’s about BTUs needed for the work required.

      1. Looking at this in an interesting way, what amount of hydrogen is needed to power a truck 800-1200 miles? The amount needed isn’t trivial as is storage. Hydrogen has the lowest incident energy needed by any gas to ignite so if there is a leak, boom. Plus what is the range of the battery alone? Tesla range as in 80 miles at full draw or 300 miles going down a hill? There is too much technical details missing to even really consider this practical until it hits the roads and shows what it can actually do.

        The idea that trains are diesel/electric and compared to this is stupid. Trains don’t use batteries to store energy so therefore that reference comparison is irrelevant. The trains that use batteries and generators are so few and far between and also have higher operating costs!

        Modern diesel trains are switching to alternators not generators because AC is a better motor on the traction side. This truck is using DC traction. Yes its proven but then again what are the power requirements plus all the accessories when sitting in traffic on a hot day stopped on the highway.

        The heat generated by a fuel cell is enormous. What are they doing with it?

        again there are too many unknowns for idiots such as “rambo light” to make conclusions. Practical people wait for results, fools preach unknown technical nonsense and saying the technology is mature when in fact it’s still in it’s infancy.

        1. Train Gearhead – Be careful, you are talking too logically with waay too much experience. Be prepared for a wave of opposition from a creative variety of usernames.

        2. Just small correction.I don’t know , what this truck is using, but Tesla has AC Induction motor (no rare earth magnets needed) and of course invertors.
          I don’t want hydrogen near me.
          Who is going to rescue a truck driver from the ditch, when driving hydrogen truck.

    7. All 5 respondents here we will have 14 posts with all the fake names! When a electric car can go 500 miles w/o a charge somewhere on the side of the road then maybe I’ll look at it. I like my V8..

      1. There are many electric cars that go much further than 500 miles. Where have you been. Many hybrids go way beyond 500 miles. And this article is for a heavy duty truck that takes its load to 1200 miles. Are you paying attention? We have had hybrids that go over 500 miles for almost two decades now.

        1. Just do the math on energy needed to move a 80,000 lb load for 1,200 miles, taking into account realistic terrain, air resistance, drivetrain loses, tire resistance, traffic variability and hotel accessory loses to start. As a baseline, in 2021 a new conventional semi should be capable of 12 MPG US.
          And also how you plan on storing that energy on that hybrid. I’ll be interested in the results !

        2. Looking at the practical sides of this hydrogen is a poor choice for a fuel cell source of power. There are too many issues with hydrogen but a few booms!! will cure that.

          Logistically speaking switching to methanol might give fuel cell a chance. It’s easier to store, produce and use.

          I’m not saying this technology can’t be useful but everyone is forgetting one thing. Where does the hydrogen come from. It is not cheap to produce. The cheapest option is nuclear reactors and they are shutting down! So a few trucks using hydrogen will drive the operating costs way high because of a shortage of fuel.

          Trucks without a fuel source are large paperweights.

          Those of you saying hydrogen is great are missing one point. Look at the production of hydrogen and sources of it in the economy. Your arguments fall flat when faced with reality. It’s not practical until a fuel source is secured and cheap enough for everyday people.

    8. HERE YE, HERE YE I am all that is man. I am an expert on everything and have all the answers. The auto industry has been ignoring my TRUTH and actively ignoring my wisdom. Pay attention, and you will see….

    9. And how much is this thing before the government give you a a break on buying it? That is the real question here, not how far it will it go or if would be reliable or to find somebody to fix it when you are thousand miles away to whoever can fix it. And the cost to fix it.

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