Nikola gets major thumbs up for hydrogen-electric


Anheuser-Busch deal for 800 prime movers as Nikola sues Tesla

Nikola gets major thumbs up for hydrogen-electric
An impression of the Nikola Two in Anheuser-Busch livery

 

Nikola Motor Company may be in the midst of suing Tesla but its abiding focus will be on a hydrogen-electric mega-deal with US brewing behemoth Anheuser-Busch.

The beer-maker and the truck-making propulsion disruptor have agreed a US$720 million (A$954 million) order for up to 800 hydrogen-electric powered prime movers, in what looks like a major endorsement for the technology.

The zero-emission Nikola Two trucks — said to have a range of between 500 and 1,200 miles (800km-1,930km) and be refilled within 20 minutes — are expected to be integrated into Anheuser-Busch’s dedicated fleet, starting in 2020.

Anheuser-Busch aims to convert its entire long-haul fleet to renewable powered trucks by 2025 and sees Nikola’s technology enabling it to achieve this milestone, while aiding safety through the trucks’ "surround viewing system".

"At Anheuser-Busch, we’re continuously searching for ways to improve sustainability across our entire value chain and drive our industry forward," CEO Michel Doukeris says.

"The transport industry is one that is ripe for innovative solutions and Nikola is leading the way with hydrogen-electric, zero-emission capabilities. We are very excited by the possibilities our partnership with them can offer."

Nikola sees the deal as another confirmation of its hydrogen-electric technology strategy.

"Anheuser-Busch has a long history of investing in progressive, sustainable technology and we are excited to partner with them to bring the largest hydrogen network in the world to the USA," Nikola CEO Trevor Milton says.

"By 2028, we anticipate having over 700 hydrogen stations across the USA and Canada.

"With nearly $9 billion in pre-order reservations, we are building to order, not speculation, and are very excited for what’s to come."

The partnership with Nikola will contribute to Anheuser-Busch’s recently announced 2025 Sustainability Goals, which include reducing CO2 emissions by 25 per cent.

"Once fully implemented, the carbon reductions gained from these 800 trucks will reduce the brewer’s carbon emissions from logistics by more than 18 per cent — equivalent to taking more than 13,000 passenger vehicles off the road annually," the companies say.

Over the past two years, Anheuser-Busch has hedged its bets, with orders to both Tesla and Otto though this deal is much bigger than those.

Ironically, news of the order comes as reports surface of a US$2 billion Nikola suit in Arizona against rival Tesla alleging infringements involving three of six patents related to Nickola One.

"The issued patents covered the fuselage, the windshield, the mid-entry door, the front fender, the side cladding, and the overall semi design," the suit reads. 

 

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