Nikola Partners With Bosch On Powertrain For Its Hydrogen-Electric Truck

Tesla Semi Competitor

SEP 22 2017 BY MARK KANE 13

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 Two

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.”

Nikola Two

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.”

Categories: Trucks

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

13 Comments on "Nikola Partners With Bosch On Powertrain For Its Hydrogen-Electric Truck"

newest oldest most voted

I find it conspicuous when something that may not paint tesla in the most positive light is omitted from the site.


They posted that months ago.

From July:

Tesla Will Discontinue RWD Model S 75 Prior To Launch Of Model 3

…and mentioned it here 3 weeks ago:

All Tesla Models Compared: Model S, Model X and Model 3
“The 60 kWh and 90 kWh are now no longer available any more, with the RWD-only Model S being phased out shortly (no final date has yet been given on sunset date for new orders).”

…and inside 2-3 other stories

…and again this morning on the date verification
Tesla To Discontinue Cheapest Version Of Model S (Rear-Wheel Drive) In A Few Days

I find it interesting how some commenters think…well, nevermind (=

Exactly WHY do you think this would be a Negative, when so many people think More Range is Better? (And, how is it that you failed to see that information already posted on this website?)

Any way, the base range of the $35,000 Black, Base Model 3, is rated at 220 Miles, versus the 208 Models of the first 60 kWh Model S! So, this is a Good Thing!

These will be special case Truck than. Because only California has any hydrogen stations, and the economics are bad because hydrogen is more expensive than electricity.

So, not a smart investment or a well though out product.

I did the calculation once of cost per mile of hydrogen vs diesel and didn’t see any advantage of switching to H2.

Then the nagging question I have is what is the cost of a hydrogen fuel cell stack versus a diesel engine, and how long does the fuel cell stack last versus the diesel engine. My guess is that the fuel cell stack is more expensive and doesn’t last as long.

Ballard just had fuel cells in buses go over 25,000 hours of operation. H2 has NO combustion with no NOx nor particulates.

If an H2 HFC Truck was the same price as one fueled by Diesel, Nikola Motors will still need to get a H2 Supply Side Solution in place, suitable for Trucking Routes of interest, at least, to support their new truck.

It will be an interesting development, at least!

When Elon Rolls out the All Battery Tesla Semi, we will be able to see if He has a Supply Side Solution for his Semi as well! Very interesting changes are coming, for sure!


A “fool cell” car powered by compressed hydrogen gas is uneconomical, and profligately wasteful of both energy and fossil fuel; a fool cell heavy truck even moreso, because it needs far more fuel per mile. The problem isn’t the fool cell itself; it’s the fuel.

The only relevant question here is whether Nikola is a scam, or — like (Project) Better Place — a case of an entrepreneur ignoring basic economics in pursuit of an utterly impractical business based on electrified vehicles.

Maybe he knows something that you don’t. Maybe the drivetrain will be better than Tesla’s. Maybe a large battery can be used instead of a FC without any re-engineering.
So why not just let him try and we’ll find out if it’s viable or not?

The negative drivel is unnecessary…

You forgot that maybe it can travel for more than 200 miles a day 😀

It does admittedly seem a bit hard to justify cost wise here in the US but maybe not nearly as much over in say Europe.

The Toyota big rig used two 100 kW fuel cells, they seem to think this is a viable route.