Three months after signing its partnership with CNH Industrial, American alternative motor vehicle startup, Nikola, has unveiled its first prototype commercial vehicle.
Launched in Turin, home to CNH Industrial's truck business IVECO, the Nikola Tre has been designed with the European market in mind in both full electric and hydrogen fuel cell versions.
Based on IVECO's S-Way platform, the 4x2 prime mover will commence testing regime as early as June next year with a public launch planned for the 2020 IAA exhibition in September.
It will also be made available as a 2- and 3-axle rigid.
The first deliveries of the electric truck are scheduled for 2021 with the hydrogen cell vehicle expected to be available by 2023.
In September CNH Industrial took a $366 million stake in Nikola as it looks to add scale and manufacturing capacity for its technologies.
The European joint venture will develop and distribute cabover hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric trucks for the European market, in which Nikola will provide fuel cell expertise and advanced technologies while leveraging its all-inclusive lease rate business model.
IVECO will provide the engineering and manufacturing expertise to industrialise the fuel cell and battery electric trucks as it commits further to alternative propulsion induced emission neutrality.
Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles use hydrogen combustion to produce power to fuel their electric engines with minimal emissions.
The battery electric Nikola TRE is based on Iveco’s S-WAY platform and integrates Nikola’s truck technology, controls and infotainment. Testing is expected to begin in mid-2020, with the European public launch planned for the IAA 2020 commercial vehicle exhibition in September.
The joint venture it is hoped will result in environmental benefits for Europe’s longhaul operators.
Gerrit Marx, IVECO President Commercial and Specialty Vehicles said the industry was changing fast and driven by tightening emissions regulations and younger generations demanding the creation of a circular economy to preserve the future environment.
“Hydrogen and battery are the only viable solutions for green energy, and have the advantage of enabling nations to become more independent from fossil fuels,” he said.
“The IVECO S-WAY is a stand-out product, which embodies IVECO’s concept of customer-centricity and has already gained momentum in the markets with well-deserved success,” said Marx.
“It is the bones of the Nikola Tre and marks the beginning of a new journey toward zero-emissions trucking, providing the platform for us to introduce disruptive features that will change the transport industry.”