Nikola and Bosch develop electric long-haul truck powertrain
By 2021, Nikola Motor Company says it will bring to market the Nikola One and Two, a class 8 hydrogen-electric truck lineup that will reportedly deliver more than 1000 hp (746 kW) and 2000 ft·lb (2712 N·m) of torque with “zero local emissions,” as previously announced by Nikola. At the heart of the Nikola truck lineup is a new powertrain achieved by a development partnership between Nikola and Bosch.
“We have been aggressively pursuing our goal of bringing the most advanced semi-truck ever built to market,” said Nikola Founder and CEO Trevor Milton. “The powertrain requires an innovative and flexible partner able to adapt quickly to the speed of our team. Bosch has empowered us to come to market quickly with automotive-grade hardware and software so our vision can become a reality.”
The eAxle developed by Bosch is a scalable, modular platform with the motor, power electronics, and transmission in one compact unit. The company says this makes it suitable for vehicles ranging from small passenger cars to light trucks. Nikola and Bosch say they will use this know-how to commercialize the dual-motor commercial-vehicle eAxle for a long-haul truck. The eAxle is expected to use proven commercial vehicle electric machine technology and SMG (separate motor generator) motors from Bosch.
The eAxles will be paired with a custom-designed fuel cell system—also being developed jointly between Nikola and Bosch—designed to deliver benchmark vehicle range. The overall vehicle controls will also be jointly developed based upon Bosch’s vehicle control software and hardware. The Nikola Bosch zero local emission powertrain is designed to achieve segment-leading performance at a competitive total cost of ownership to traditional powertrains.
Bosch and Nikola will also jointly develop the overall powertrain system for the Nikola lineup, which will include the safety concept and vehicle electrical architecture. The companies say advanced simulation technologies will be employed throughout the entire development process, from system layout to testing and validation.