Nikola Corporation is looking to get ahead of Tesla by launching its Tre BEV (battery-electric vehicle) in Europe. The company is currently taking orders for the truck and is offering test drives for potential clients. Showing that it is ready to push forward.
The semi model is capable of traveling for distances of up to 530 km (nearly 330 miles) on a single charge. Meaning it won’t quite go the distance of a Tesla Model 3 (Long Range) but could be one of the first electric semi models to hit the streets in Europe if manufacturing moves fast enough.
Which doesn’t seem to be an issue since the company already has a number of completed models already lined up and ready to be delivered. This could potentially mark a strong future for the company and lead to some swift competition against Tesla.
Of course, it doesn’t hit the mileage that Tesla is promising its semi can deliver (up to 500 miles, or nearly 805 km). So it may not make much of a dent in the US unless it can compete on price enough to make it an attractive alternative for companies not looking to cover as much distance.
It can, however, charge to 80% in just 90 minutes’ time, which is pretty good for a semi (oh, wait, there really isn’t anything out there yet to compare this to so they kind of win by default). However, imagine charging systems at every dock a driver stops at. Simply charge the truck while loading or unloading the trailer. This could minimize stops along the way and improve travel time (although that wouldn’t be fair to the driver to miss that time for rest and meals).
However, this isn’t the only model Nikola is looking to get out there. The company is also beta testing its European Nikola Tre FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicle), which is a hydrogen-electric hybrid vehicle (70 usable kilograms of hydrogen at 700-bar pressure) capable of what the company claims will be up to 800 km (or 497 miles). Bringing it closer to Tesla’s semi with the exception that Tesla’s doesn’t make use of hydrogen whatsoever.
The other advantage to Nikola’s FCEV over Tesla’s BEV is the weight difference. The BEV batteries are much heavier than the FCEV system. Therefore, going the same distance, the NIKOLA will be able to haul a much heavier load.