Nikola 2 Bosch

Bosch and Nikola unveil electric trucks 

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Nicholas Fearn

Electric vehicle manufacturer Nikola has demonstrated its hydrogen-electric hybrid powered trucks to the public for the first time.

The American firm, which designs and makes electronic components, drivetrains and vehicles, showcased Nikola Two and Nikola Tre during its Nikola World event.

Nikola Two is a 10-wheel truck designed for American roads, while Nikola Tre is a smaller, six-wheel version targeted at European markets. Both trucks boast up to 1,000 horsepower generated by two or four electric motors. Both were developed with Bosch, the world’s biggest car parts maker.

Nikola Two and Nikola Tre use a range of automation, connectivity and electrification solutions. Teams from Bosch have spent more than 220,000 hours helping to develop the truck.

The launch of the trucks comes at a time when governments and cities around the world are preparing to ban diesel and petrol in favour of environmentally friendly electric models.

“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 for commercial vehicles and 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.”

Nikola and Bosch also worked together on a fuel-cell system to help deliver benchmark vehicle range. The trucks feature Bosh technologies such as Mirror Cam system, Perfectly Keyless and Servotwin steering system.

“Bosch has been our innovation partner to help make our vision a reality,” said 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.”

The Mirror Cam System replaces conventional main and wide-angle mirrors with cameras, which provide a digital side and rear view of the truck.

Meanwhile, the Perfectly Keyless system lets fleet operators digitally manage their truck keys. Freight and commercial vehicle companies use a smartphone app to manage who has access to vehicles.

“Sensors on the Nikola vehicles will connect with an app on a driver’s smartphone so that when the driver approaches the vehicle, Perfectly Keyless recognises the smartphone, identifies the unique security key assigned to the driver’s phone, and unlocks the door,” explained Bosch. “As soon as the driver moves away from the truck again, the vehicle is automatically securely locked.”

The trucks are equipped with driver assistance and future automation technology enabled by the Bosch Servotwi electrohydraulic steering system, too.

According to Bosch, this technology will “enable driver assistance systems that actively support the driver to enhance driving comfort and improve safety” and “enable features such as lane-keeping assistance, side-wind compensation and traffic jam assist”.

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