German electronics giant Bosch and electric truck startup Nikola Motor announced that they are collaborating to build the electric powertrains of the startup’s upcoming two electric trucks, the Nikola One and Two.
When unveiling the Nikola One, the startup said that they developed their own electric powertrain to work with a hydrogen fuel cell system, but now they say that they will use a version of Bosch’s eAxle electric motors.
They wrote in a press release:
“The eAxle developed by Bosch is a scalable, modular platform with the motor, power electronics and transmission in one compact unit. This makes it suitable for vehicles of all kinds, from small passenger cars to light trucks. Nikola and Bosch will use this know-how to commercialize the world’s first true dual-motor commercial-vehicle eAxle for a long-haul truck.”
The electric powertrain is expected to enable more than 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 ft. lbs. of torque.
Nikola Founder and CEO Trevor Milton commented:
“We have been aggressively pursuing our goal of bringing the most advanced semi-truck ever built to market. The powertrain requires an innovative and flexible partner able to adapt quickly to the speed of our team. Bosch has empowered us to come to market quickly with automotive-grade hardware and software so our vision can become a reality.”
The system will draw power from a 320 kWh battery pack and a fuel cell system, which Bosch will also help design.
Nikola Motor claims that it will bring its first long-haul trucks, which they claim will have over 1,200 miles of range, to production in 2020.
It’s yet another pivot in Nikola Motor’s strategy. The company first announced that their electric trucks will have an extended range through natural gas range extenders, but they later changed their concept to hydrogen fuel cells and announced unbelievable plans to cover North America with hydrogen plants and refueling stations.
When they unveiled their truck, they made it sound like they had developed a powertrain, but now they say that they are using Bosch’s technology.
While those pivots are not great for the young startup’s credibility, the fact that they secured the collaboration of a tier one supplier like Bosch certainly is great for their credibility.
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