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February 7, 2020 9:30 AM, EST

Battery-Electric Nikola Tre to Be Made at Iveco Plant in Germany

Nikola TreNikola Motor Co.

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Nikola Corp. and joint venture partners Iveco and FPT Industrial announced they will manufacture the battery-electric Nikola Tre model at Iveco’s plant in Ulm, Germany, beginning in 2021, after the facility undergoes a $43.9 million upgrade.

The heavy-duty Tre is based on truck maker Iveco’s S-WAY commercial vehicle platform and integrates Phoenix-based Nikola’s truck technology, controls and infotainment.

Iveco and FPT Industrial — the commercial vehicle brand and powertrain division, respectively, of London-based CNH Industrial — will contribute their engineering and manufacturing expertise to industrialize battery-electric and, eventually, fuel cell trucks.

The joint venture, announced in September when CNH invested $250 million in Nikola, has adopted a modular approach in developing its electric offering for the European market. The first models to enter production will be the battery-electric 4×2 and 6×2 articulated trucks with modular and scalable batteries with a capacity of up to 720 kilowatt-hours and an electric powertrain that delivers up to 480 kW of continuous power output.

In part two of a two-part exploration of autonomous technology today, our latest RoadSigns podcast revisits conversations with Chuck Price of TuSimple and Ognen Stojanovski of Pronto.ai. Hear them discuss a palatable Level 2 version of trucking autonomy. Listen to a snippet above, and to hear the full episode, go to RoadSigns.TTNews.com.

“The decision to volume produce the Tre in the city of Ulm is a fitting example of how to create jobs, foster innovation, provide certainty to new zero-emission part suppliers and serve as an example to other original equipment manufacturers,” Nikola CEO Trevor Milton said in a release. “The world is ready for zero-emission freight transportation, and the joint venture between Nikola and Iveco will be the first to deliver.”

Meanwhile, Germany’s government recently released its draft national hydrogen strategy for expanding the pioneering role of companies in hydrogen technologies. It committed $2.2 billion to fund the hydrogen innovation program, including the development of the necessary distribution infrastructure.

Testing is expected to begin in mid-2020 with prototypes showcased at the IAA 2020 commercial vehicle exhibition in Hanover, Germany, in September. — Transport Topics

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