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April 3, 2017 9:00 AM, EDT

Nikola to Launch Hydrogen-Electric Truck in 2020

Spira courtesy of Kaitlynn Scheidler/ACT

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Nikola Motor Co. is in discussion with the largest truck stops and, separately, seven states as it prepares to launch in mid-2020 its zero emissions, hydrogen-electric Nikola One Class 8 truck, a company executive said.

Also, Salt Lake City-based Nikola recently has raised $110 million in additional financing and intends to secure an additional $500 million to $750 million, Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Spira told attendees at ACT Research Co.'s spring seminar, held here March 20-22. 

Calling the Nikola One a revolutionary vehicle, Spira said that from where he sits, “There is little differentiation between the [existing Class 8] products from the various manufacturers.” 

So far, Nikola has reservations for more than 8,000 sleeper trucks and day cabs worth upward of $4 billion, and projects operating costs for these vehicles will be more than 30% lower than a comparable diesel-powered sleeper cab, Spira said March 21.

Also, Nikola is negotiating with Alabama, California, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah over the location of its first production plant.

In a change from the prototype truck introduced in December, the first trucks produced will not come with a 6-by-6 wheel drive configuration, he said.

“It may be available down the road for vocational trucks,” Spira said.

Meanwhile, the company appears to have stepped back from producing and retailing all the necessary hydrogen fuel itself as it originally announced.

“We don’t plan to develop hydrogen fueling stations from scratch," Spira said. "Rather, we are going to partner with one of the largest nationwide truck stop operators, and also experienced hydrogen producers, as we roll out our hydrogen infrastructure.”