Nikola Corporation, a heavy-duty commercial battery-electric vehicle (BEV) and fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) manufacturer, has announced agreements with Bosch Group to build Bosch’s fuel-cell power modules at its facility in Arizona in the US.
“This announcement is the result of a multi-year working relationship with Bosch,” 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.”
The fuel-cell power modules for the Nikola Tre and US Nikola Two fuel-cell applications will be adapted under the agreement. Bosch will supply both fully assembled fuel-cell power modules and major components, including the fuel-cell stack, which Nikola will assemble. The parties will work together to source the remaining components for assembly.
The two companies have defined a scalable and modular approach for the Nikola Tre and Two truck applications, where multiple fuel-cell power modules use the Bosch heavy-duty commercial vehicle fuel-cell stack.
The modules are expected to launch in 2023, first being used for the Class 8 regional-haul Nikola Tre FCEV. It’s expected the overall vehicle design will result in a range of up to around 804km. 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 1,448km.
The vehicles will use common fuel-cell power modules in 200kW and 300kW configurations. The modules and components will be designed and validated to meet the demands of commercial vehicle power.
The Nikola Tre FCEV will also be launched in the EU, using the same fuel-cell power modules that support the planning vehicle manufacturing in Nikola’s joint venture with IVECO, a truck manufacturer, in Germany.
Nikola plans to expand its manufacturing facility by 4,645 square metres and up to 50 additional manufacturing jobs to accommodate initial fuel-cell power module assembly. This will support the initial production increase of the Nikola Tre FCEV, with further expansions planned to support the production 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 headquarters in Phoenix in the US.
Nikola is currently building and testing Tre FCEV alpha vehicles using Bosch’s fuel-cell power modules, and plans to begin road testing by the end of 2021 in support of customer pilot tests.