Late last year, Nikola Motor started customer deliveries of its Tre battery-powered semi truck in California and announced several significant orders from fleet customers.
Then in January 2022, the Nikola Tre was approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as a zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV), making it eligible for a $120,000 incentive for customers operating in the Golden States.
All this is obviously good news for the Phoenix, Arizona-based company, but the fact remains that the charging infrastructure for battery-powered medium-duty and heavy duty trucks is only beginning to develop.
To support customers that don’t have access to charging points, Nikola is getting ready to roll out its first Mobile Charging Trailers (MCT). Powered by Tritium, MCT is said to "enable a smooth transition to a permanent recharging infrastructure plan without incurring a significant capital expense."
While Nikola has mentioned the Mobile Charging Trailer before, now is the first time we get to see it on video. The MCT is a modular solution that can be equipped with one or two chargers with an output of 175 kilowatts of DC fast charging.
Nikola says the MCT can be deployed anytime, anywhere to recharge any electric vehicle equipped with a CCS 1 connector. Contrary to what you might think, the Mobile Charging Trailer not powered by onboard batteries; its draws power either from the grid or a mobile power source (i.e. a generator), which means it’s only really usable in places that have access to electricity.
Targeting customers that are waiting for permits to install chargers at their locations and the development of recharging infrastructure, MCT allows them to use their electric trucks right away. Installing permanent chargers for a Class 8 truck like the Nikola Tre BEV is known to take six months to one year, so it makes sense to use an MCT in the meantime.
From the video, we learn that one Mobile Charging Trailer equipped with a single charger can charge two to three trucks per day as charging from 20% to 80% SoC takes 2.5 hours for each truck. Watch the video above to learn more about this mobile charging solution.
Read more about the Nikola Tre BEV semi truck