Nikola Corporation, which is into design and manufacture of heavy-duty commercial battery-electric vehicles (BEV), fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) and energy infrastructure solutions, will work with the Bosch Group of companies on the Nikola Class 7 and 8 fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV), which will enable Nikola to build the Bosch fuel-cell power modules at its Coolidge, Arizona facility.
The agreement will allow the adaptation of fuel-cell power modules for the Nikola Tre and US Nikola Two fuel-cell applications. Under the agreement, Bosch will supply both fully assembled fuel-cell power modules as well as major components to Nikola, including the fuel-cell stack, for Nikola to assemble at its manufacturing facility in Coolidge. The parties will work together for sourcing of remaining components for the assemblies.
Nikola and Bosch have defined a scalable and modular approach for the Nikola Tre and Two truck applications based upon use of multiple fuel-cell power modules utilising the Bosch heavy-duty commercial vehicle fuel-cell stack. The fuel-cell power modules are expected to launch in 2023, with the first application being the Class 8 regional-haul Nikola Tre FCEV.
Nikola anticipates that the overall vehicle design will result in a range of up to approximately 500 miles. Nikola plans to further expand capacity for use in the Class 8 long-haul Nikola Two FCEV with an anticipated range of up to approximately 900 miles.
The vehicles are planned to utilise common fuel-cell power modules in 200 kW and 300 kW configurations. The fuel-cell power modules and components are being designed and validated for the demands of commercial vehicle power.
The Nikola Tre FCEV will also be launched in the EU, utilising the same fuel-cell power modules supporting vehicle manufacturing planned at Nikola’s joint venture with IVECO in Ulm, Germany.
Nikola CEO Mark Russell said, “After extensive analysis of the best options out there, we are proud to enter into this strategic relationship with Bosch. The result is the best of both worlds in our ‘make versus buy’ analysis. We will be collaborating with Bosch to develop and assemble fuel-cell power modules specifically for our applications at the same Coolidge, Arizona facility where we manufacture our Nikola vehicles, utilising major components from the Bosch global manufacturing network.”
Nikola plans to expand the Coolidge manufacturing facility by 50,000 sq. ft., and up to 50 additional manufacturing jobs to accommodate initial fuel-cell power module assembly by 2023, in support of the initial ramp-up of the Nikola Tre FCEV, with subsequent expansions planned to support the ramp-up of Nikola’s Tre and Two FCEVs in the US. Nikola is also expanding engineering and testing facilities to support the fuel-cell and vehicle validation and testing at Nikola’s Phoenix headquarters.
Nikola is currently building and testing Tre FCEV alpha vehicles utilising the fuel-cell power modules from the agreement and plans to begin road testing by the end of 2021 in support of customer pilot tests.