SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Zero-emission semitrucks that don’t operate on diesel, but use hydrogen fuel cells instead, have been unveiled at Nikola Motor’s “Nikola World 2019” event.
“It’s the first production truck that I know of around the world that is a fully … true fuel cell truck from the ground up,” said Trevor Milton, founder and CEO.
Milton started the Nikola Motor Company in his basement and now aims to contribute to the clean, renewable-energy movement via trucking worldwide.
“I grew up driving diesel trucks,” Milton said. “I think there’s a place for them. But I also got more and more mad every time I’d go out running and it’s like you go up over sitting on a mountain, you look down, you see the gray soot everywhere that you’re breathing as you run. … I want to scream. … That’s just what needs to change. And no one will do it. Finally, I just did it.”
Milton brought the company to Arizona, where it is now headquartered in Phoenix. It plans to break ground in Coolidge in 2020 on over 400 acres and a million-square-foot manufacturing facility.
The plan is to have the company begin full production by 2022, building up to 35,000 trucks per year.
“The No. 1 thing is around the emissions, getting rid of the emissions across the board,” Milton said. “I didn’t want regulation to come in and say people are only changing because government’s forcing you to. I want my generation to actually be ahead of the government, to say, ‘You know what, we can innovate faster than the government forces us.’“
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The Nikola Tre was also on display, to be rolled out in the European market. Like the Two, it has digital camera mirrors and a digital cockpit.
There are more than 13,000 Nikola trucks on order and Anheuser-Busch has ordered 800 class 8 zero-emission trucks from Nikola as part of its sustainability strategy.
Nikola Motor Company isn’t releasing the price point of the trucks but said it’s leasing for a million miles, including hydrogen fuel maintenance.
Nikola Motor Company plans to add 2,000 Arizona jobs by 2022.