In the fourth episode of Driving Change, Nikola presents progress on the Nikola Tre all-electric Class 8 semi-truck, which recently started another stage of development.

We already saw a few episodes and teasers (here and here) with the alpha prototypes, but this might be the most interesting.

"Shaking off the snow from Northen Michigan winter testing, the Nikola Tre moves on to powertrain commissioning at the proving grounds in Indiana."

The entire episode is worth checking out, as it includes footage and comments from various tests, including climbing 20% grade, driving at 75 mph (121 km/h) with load, braking and more.

We set the start of the video at a fun race featuring the Nikola Tre against a Ford F-350 pickup truck used by the company. As it turns out, the semi is quick enough to match the pickup:

Nikola Tre BEV prototype
Nikola Tre BEV prototype

It is probably inevitable that we will see more of these types of comparisons against conventional trucks, other electric semis and maybe some other vehicles.

The races with Tesla Semi (expected to be launched this year) would be probably equally as popular as other Tesla drag races, especially since Tesla and Nikola were not particularly "friendly" to each other.

Nikola Tre BEV prototype

Nikola intends to start trial production of the Tre in Arizona in July (in Germany from June) and begin customer deliveries by the end of this year.

The project moves forward thanks to IVECO's experience in trucks (the vehicle is based on the conventional cab-over type used in Europe, much different from Nikola's original fancy hydrogen concepts).

Nikola Tre specs (from April 2021):

  • up to 300 miles (483 km) of range in an undisclosed test cycle
  • modular battery system up to 750 kWh
  • system output of 645 hp (about 480 kW)
  • DC fast charging au up to 350 kW
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