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Nikola One Electric/CNG Truck


bmzero

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Will a propane conversion be available? Can I plug in my Honda 2000 when I run out of the hellishly hard to find natural gas fueling station when you are anywhere other than california? If it was diesel or gas I would be interested. But the infrastructure is not there for Nat gas. Especially in our lines of use where we may spend a good bit of time in no mans land where diesel is hard to find. Nat. Gas is akin to an honest politician.

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Neat article but a bit inaccurate. Styling is great, but 700 mile range?? And 20 mph up a mountain? REALLY? I've seen 45 on a mountain by full loads commercial, and even at 5 mpg that would be a 1200 mile range. Isn't an average line haul closer to 10-12 mpg today, and at 45K I'm pulling 55 on most grades and I'm on the light side of HP.

 

This assuming standard 300 gal tanks but I fill every 1500 to 2000 miles and I'm not sure when the low warning comes on.

 

Just saying I think they need a reality check or fact checker.

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Will a propane conversion be available? Can I plug in my Honda 2000 when I run out of the hellishly hard to find natural gas fueling station when you are anywhere other than california? If it was diesel or gas I would be interested. But the infrastructure is not there for Nat gas. Especially in our lines of use where we may spend a good bit of time in no mans land where diesel is hard to find. Nat. Gas is akin to an honest politician.

 

 

According to their website, they will have a diesel and gas version available

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Well a 400 KW gas turbine generator alone is 15K pounds and using CNG not LNG the tanks will be huge. I like electomotive power but this concept is quite optimistic in their projections. There ARE more and more local fleets using CNG for ICE. I suppose the all wheel drive is to take advantage of the regen prospects but, it adds many layers of complexity and weight for little return.

 

Great looking cab but, lots of the claims are a real stretch. The idea that every truck is able to carry another ton in pound mile revenue on every trip is a hoot in itself!

 

Steve

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Another posting on this says it has six mothers (motors, I assume). I realize it's silly details, but I get so pissed when they try to claim this is a "series hybrid" powertrain. NO. It's diesel-electric. Walk up to any of the driven wheels (which is all of them) and ask, how can you get turned? They'd all say "electric only", so there's no hybrid about it. The batteries serve as a storage and balancing medium so the engine can operate in a very narrow band for efficiency, but that doesn't make it a hybrid. (Continuously Variable Transmissions let the engine operate in a very narrow band too.)

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Not much reality here. With diesel fuel likely to stay in $2-3 range for the foreseeable future companies like UPS that have bought large numbers of compressed and LNG trucks are having a time justifying the cost of both truck and infrastructure. And the chain of LNG filling stations that have been built in the last few years are largely unused.

This is in the same strata as the Walmart future truck built by Peterbilt last year. When the trucking industry won't even spring for disc brakes because of the small increase in cost, I can't see them even thinking about something like this.

But it does demonstrate the future belongs to cabovers....

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Not much reality here. With diesel fuel likely to stay in $2-3 range for the foreseeable future companies like UPS that have bought large numbers of compressed and LNG trucks are having a time justifying the cost of both truck and infrastructure. And the chain of LNG filling stations that have been built in the last few years are largely unused.

This is in the same strata as the Walmart future truck built by Peterbilt last year. When the trucking industry won't even spring for disc brakes because of the small increase in cost, I can't see them even thinking about something like this.

But it does demonstrate the future belongs to cabovers....

 

 

X2

 

Drive on.....(Best view...coe)

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I'd like to see the true efficiency numbers for that turbine driven generator. Railroads tried using turbine-electric engines a half century ago and the efficiency was so low they wound up pulling leftover steam engine tenders as their fuel tank to get reasonable range out of them.

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I'd like to see the true efficiency numbers for that turbine driven generator. Railroads tried using turbine-electric engines a half century ago and the efficiency was so low they wound up pulling leftover steam engine tenders as their fuel tank to get reasonable range out of them.

Those railroad turbines were designed to use bunker oil, the lowest refuse grade from the distilling process. It was the stuff used in steam ships.

 

Then along came plastics and other ways to use more of the crude oil eliminating bunker oil as a cheap fuel. That is was killed the turbine-electric locomotives

 

Turbines are excellent for constant power demands. That is why they failed in the cars, power requirement changing all the time. Locomotives and semis would be ideal for turbines. Turbines were tried in semis before but in direct drive. A turbine-electric drive system makes a lot of sense. But we are talking about industries that sit on technology for decades.

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  • 2 months later...

Low and behold I walk into a friend's fabrication shop in Anaheim and I see him welding on this giant set of monkey bars. As soon as I walked in he started apologizing, "I'm sorry I didn't tell you about this sooner". It turns out he was under NDA and couldn't tell anyone, but he actually designed the internal cage structure for the 11 prototypes for the Nikola trucks.

 

He will be building four of these, identical to this one. The remaining prototypes are pending changes from the first four.

 

The body will be carbon fiber, inside and out, and the cage structure will live between the carbon. These prototypes are DOM steel. The production cages will be aluminum, with some structural changes, of course.

 

When I stood inside of the the cage, one thing became immediately clear; the cab of this thing is huge. My first thought was that it was too long, and would be hard to maneuver. That's when he reminded me that all of the drivetrain is UNDER the cab, not with the engine in front of the cab. That means you get the extra length inside of the cab that would normally be taken up by the length of the hood.

 

These photos are free from NDA now, so no fear in me posting them.

 

So, to my surprise, this thing is real, or almost so.

 

27924537544_64e5712da8_b.jpg

 

 

28541587955_58e3095cef_b.jpg

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It is hard to get a handle on how big the cab is, between the artists conception, with the cab extensions making the cab appear very long, to these pictures of the basic cab structure. My cabover, the Argosy is the largest production cabover currently in production, 110" bumper to back of cab. To match the room of the equivalent conventional, a Century Class it would have to be 120". The cabovers in Europe are all 88" cabs, because for them everything is overall length, capped at 54' in the EU. that is why the Argosy never sold well in Europe, but does very well in places like Australia and South Africa with more lenient overall length restrictions.

If you can sneak back over to the shop and throw a tape measure on what is there, it would answer a lot of questions. And now the NDA is lifted, we don't even have to kill you.

Of course this has all been tried before:

post-30647-0-68259200-1469465858_thumb.jpg

 

1964 Ford Turbine, GM had one also.

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When I stood inside of the the cage, one thing became immediately clear; the cab of this thing is huge. My first thought was that it was too long, and would be hard to maneuver. That's when he reminded me that all of the drivetrain is UNDER the cab, not with the engine in front of the cab. That means you get the extra length inside of the cab that would normally be taken up by the length of the hood.

Years ago, I volunteered with a fire department that had an E-One "Hush" pumper, which is a rear-engine setup. Wackiest truck ever. The cab was certainly huge, originally sized for 10 but altered to be 8 plus a fridge and radio compartment. With the raised roof behind the driver/officer, you could hold a dance party in the cab no problem. However, the powertrain was a mess (in part due to the complexities of a fire engine): rear-mount engine meant rear-mount radiator (poor airflow), big 3'x7' lift-up vented "hood" panel for top-side access, transmission had to fit above the drive axle, and shafts had to run forward to the transfer case which directs power to either the axle or the fire pump. That department paid the extra ~$9k to have the rearmost compartments on both sides mounted on sliders, so with one big bolt removed, you could slide the 8' high compartment back by several feet to "walk up to the engine". Since the power steering pump was mounted to the frame, there was just about no other way to check the PS fluid from the top-side access. Very quiet in the cab though, because the engine is muffled by the presence of 650 gallons of water between you and it.

 

Moral of the story: it will take some time to get all of the mechanical stuff on these trucks sorted out to be easy to maintain, given that standard assumptions of engine placement have gone right out the...hood?

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One of the reasons I love to go to ATHS or other antique truck shows. Some of the basic mechanical layouts are just plain bizarre.

Of course one of the all time favorite misadventures was this prototype cab Under:

 

post-30647-0-21658200-1469555544_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

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One of the reasons I love to go to ATHS or other antique truck shows. Some of the basic mechanical layouts are just plain bizarre.

Of course one of the all time favorite misadventures was this prototype cab Under:

 

attachicon.gifStrickCabUnder.jpg

 

Lots and lots of cab unders overseas. Of course, they are 250-600 ton capacity, and have 96 tires or so. Busy tire shop in a shipyArd.

 

But they are awesome to watch. Pull up, drive sideways, lift, and down the road at 15 mph with hundreds of tons on top two minutes after pulling up.

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I'll see your cab-under, and raise you a steered trailer. We were going through Seattle, youngest boy in the backseat behind me. I seen the load coming up in the mirrors, and made some comment to the group to draw attention to it. As it came alongside, none of us was expecting the pilot house underneath. The youngster had the best view, as the driver waved, with a big grin, to all the traffic they were passing. The look on his face was priceless, and probably matched my own. Good memories, thanks Boeing.

byiT4fV.jpg

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