Nikola hits back with factory push

Nascent hydrogen-electric truckmaker plans Arizona facility

Nikola hits back with factory push
Nikola CEO and founder Trevor Milton after the announcement


While Tesla has stolen a huge amount of recent limelight in the truck propulsion disruption race, early contender Nikola is making up publicity ground with an Arizona factory and headquarters plan.

To be based in Buckeye, near Phoenix, Nikola Motor Company says the new 500 acre (202 ha), one million square foot (300,000 sq m) facility "will bring more than $1 billion in capital investment to the region by 2024".

"We will begin transferring our R&D and headquarters to Arizona immediately and hope to have the transition completed by October 2018," Nikola CEO and founder Trevor Milton says.

"We have already begun planning the construction for our new zero emission manufacturing facility in Buckeye, which we expect to have underway by the end of 2019."

Nikola designs and manufactures hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems and hydrogen stations and the company claims a pre-order book of more than 8,000 semis, which would put it comfortably ahead of estimated Tesla pre-orders.

It announced an alliance with Bosch in October.

In late December, parts-maker Wabco revealed it had invested US$10 million for 1 per cent of Nikola and signed an agreement to accelerate the development of industry-leading safety technologies specifically designed for electric commercial vehicles, including electronic braking systems (EBS), as well as traction and stability control technologies.

"As vehicles become increasingly autonomous, electric and connected, Wabco continues to be at the forefront of breakthrough technology innovation," Wabco chairman and CEO Jacques Esculier said at the time.

 "We are excited to invest in Nikola Motor Company to help the industry realise our joint vision of electrified and autonomous trucks, buses, trailers and off-highway vehicles.

"Wabco’s technologies, notably industry-leading braking, traction and stability control systems, continue to advance the transportation industry."

Testing its zero emission trucks with commercial vehicle fleets is scheduled to begin late this year with full production aimed for 2021.


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