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5/19/2017 4:01:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Zero Emissions, Potential Savings of Electrics Appeal to Some Carriers

Daimler Trucks

This story appears in the May 15 print edition of Equipment & Maintenance Update, a supplement to Transport Topics.

Nikola Motor Co. founder and CEO Trevor Milton said he has figured out electric power for longhaul trucks with his upcoming Nikola One, due in production in the 2020 timeframe. The truck will use electric storage and drive motors, with over-the-highway use enabled by a range-extending hydrogen fuel cell generating lithium-ion, or Li-ion, stored electricity.

But not everyone is convinced.

Steve Watts, an owner-operator who attended the December unveiling of the Nikola One in Salt Lake City, said the jury is out on this truck.

BEST OF MAY E&MU: More stories, columns

“The vehicle has no testing yet on the highway, which is kinda scary,” Watts said in an interview in March.

He said he likes the design of the new suspension and the hydrogen fuel cell concept. “But how are those batteries going to hold up with the beating and the cold weather and the corrosion?” he asked.

Yet Watts still ponied up his refundable deposit of $1,500.

Milton is not saying how much the Nikola One will cost, as he is not intending to sell the vehicle. But at the December launch, he said that lease payments would be $5,000 to $7,000 a month, which would include all maintenance and fuel for a million miles. And that would include tires. The only thing not covered would be customer damages, he said.

In a telephone interview with Equipment­ & Maintenance Update in late February, Milton said 8,000 orders have been placed. He also announced at the December launch that Nikola had amassed $4 billion in orders for the trucks when they go into production.

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By Steve Sturgess
Contributing Writer

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