The Nikola Motor Company has demonstrated the hydrogen-electric powered Nikola Two to the public at the company’s Nikola World event.
The semi truck, which sees the OEM working with Bosch technology and expertise, features industry-ready heavy-duty truck components and systems. The technology and system approach is also adaptable for use in Nikola’s full line of vehicles, including the Nikola One Sleeper Cab and the Nikola Tre, a hydrogen-electric truck for European markets.
The Nikola trucks feature innovations in automation, connectivity and electrification realized with Bosch’s assistance. Engineering teams from Bosch locations in the USA and Germany contributed more than 220,000 hours to the development of the Nikola trucks.
“This has been a two-and-a-half year cooperation targeted at implementing advanced technology into a totally new and unique approach to trucking with the highest levels of engineering excellence,” said Jason Roycht, vice president and regional business unit leader, Commercial Vehicles & Off-Road, for Bosch in North America.
“We’ve learned from each other and together pushed ourselves to achieve what seemed to everyone else to be impossible. The Nikola Two is not just a simple evolution of today’s heavy-duty truck. It’s a revolution in both sophisticated control and design.”
“Bosch has been our innovation partner to help make our vision a reality,” added Trevor Milton, founder and CEO of Nikola Motor Company. “We look for partners who provide us expertise and world-class solutions, but also ones that are willing to dream alongside us.”
One of the key elements of Nikola’s advanced system is the Bosch Vehicle Control Unit (VCU), which provides higher computing power for advanced functions while reducing the number of standalone units.
The VCU enables future innovations by providing a scalable platform for the complex electric/electronic (E/E) architecture needed to support the advanced features of the Nikola truck. The Nikola family of trucks will be connected with an advanced and secure operating system that provides real-time, over-the-air updates and monitoring.
Nikola and Bosch have worked on the vehicles’ powertrain – and the chassis integrated together with it – from the ground up. The fuel-cell system was custom-designed by the two companies, and the pair also co-developed the dual-motor commercial vehicle eAxle. The eAxle features Bosch rotors and stators, and Bosch has also contributed functional safety efforts throughout the truck.
Read E&H Vehicle’s interview with Nikola VP of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies Jesse Schneider in the July 2018 issue.