While Tesla retains its vertical integration philosophy as it enters the truck business, the Nikola Motor Company is apparently going another route, and has just announced a partnership with Bosch on itss class 8 hydrogen-electric truck powertrain.
Nikola is aiming to be in the long-haul trucking segment with market introduction of the Nikola One and Two by 2021.
Bosch was selected for both the hardware and software solutions.
The total system output of the truck, equipped with the Bosch eAxle, is to be more than 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 ft. lbs. of torque.
Bosch will also be engaged in the custom-designed fuel cell system and vehicle control software, which brings us to the conclusion that Nikola actually doesn't develop core technology itself.
"The eAxle developed by Bosch is a scalable, modular platform with the motor, power electronics, and transmission in one compact unit. This makes it suitable for vehicles of all kinds, from small passenger cars to light trucks. Nikola and Bosch will use this know-how to commercialize the world’s first true dual-motor commercial-vehicle eAxle for a long-haul truck.
The eAxle will use proven commercial vehicle electric machine technology and SMG (separate motor generator) motors from Bosch. The technology vision of Nikola and integration expertise from Bosch will enable the Nikola trucks to realize unprecedented targets for e-machine efficiency.
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. By utilizing advanced simulation technologies throughout the whole development process, from system layout to testing and validation, the Nikola One and Two will launch with one of the most optimized and state-of-the-art system designs and vehicle controls in the mobility sector."
Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Organization said:
“Bosch is an incubator of electromobility solutions. No matter whether at established OEMs or start-ups, Bosch is accelerating development and helps achieve fast breakthroughs on the market,”.
“Breakthrough mobility technology requires visionary targets, speed to-market and disciplined structure to ensure long-term success. Together with Nikola we are pushing ourselves to realize new levels of technological achievement and market penetration.”
Nikola Founder and CEO Trevor Milton said:
“We have been aggressively pursuing our goal of bringing the most advanced semi-truck ever built to market. 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.”