It took some time, but Nikola has finally taken a solid step forward with its hydrogen vehicles. As per recent reports, Nikola celebrated the commercial launch of its hydrogen fuel cell trucks on September 28 at its manufacturing facility in Coolidge, Arizona.
The celebration was shared with 900 customers, suppliers, and supporters of the company. In a comment, Nikola CEO Steve Girsky stated that the event was the culmination of a lot of work and effort on the truck maker’s part.
“Today is the culmination of a long journey. This is a company that always said we’d have a hydrogen fuel cell truck on sale in 2023, and we do today,” he said.
Nikola is looking to start deliveries of its hydrogen trucks in the coming weeks, with the CEO noting that the company is focused on scaling its deliveries this Q4. So far, Nikola has 223 non-binding orders from 23 customers, including J.B. Hunt and AJR Trucking, as noted in a report from Transport Topics.
We are one step closer in our mission to revolutionize the trucking industry with sustainable solutions. Thank you @TransportTopics for joining us in Coolidge to celebrate the commercial launch of our hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle! Read more about the day here:… pic.twitter.com/TZ0hoDFWSr— Nikola Motor Company (@nikolamotor) October 3, 2023
Nikola’s manufacturing facility, which also produces its battery-electric vehicles, features a mixed-model production line that’s able to produce both hydrogen fuel cell and battery-electric trucks. The facility is expected to be capable of achieving an annual production capacity of about 2,400 trucks across three shifts when ramped.
Danielle Leksell, senior manager of manufacturing program management, however, noted that for now, Nikola’s facility is producing one hydrogen truck per day.
Nikola’s hydrogen truck features a range of 500 miles, though Christian Appel, head of vehicle platform, noted that he saw a range of 580 miles during the vehicle’s tests. The Nikola hydrogen truck is also capable of going from zero to 60 mph in 28 seconds when fully loaded with cargo. Without cargo, the Nikola hydrogen truck will hit highway speeds in 12 seconds.
The company noted that it is working to ensure that its trucks are safe and reliable. The trucks include features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning systems, and a crash detection system that works similarly to airbags. In the event of a crash, the system immediately closes the truck’s valves to prevent hydrogen from escaping.
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