2020-08-28 Nikola Tour; Trevor Milton

This is a long 1h 18min very informative YouTube video all about Nikola (NKLA) and a tour with its chairman, Trevor Milton. When you see their prototyping shop you will see that he’s serious and very passionate about his products. He’s very knowledgeable about his products; he’s a very hands-on person.

Trevor said that they have an OEM agreement with the Italian heavy truck maker Iveco to supply most of the truck.

He made the point that the battery packs for heavy transportation have to last for at least a million miles because the heavy trucks are on the road most of the time and it takes only a few years to travel a million miles. For a 720 kW battery pack it could cost $150 thousand and the truck owners could not afford to replace the battery packs every few years.

Another point is that fast charging takes the life out of the batteries faster and they don’t last as long. If the batteries have to charge slower over hours, then the truck is losing money while it’s not on the road. So this is the reason why hydrogen fuel cell system has a big advantage over batteries: it can fill the truck up in a few minutes. [I can see that flow batteries could solve this problem, but they are too heavy.] A Hydrogen fuel cell system is lighter than batteries so the truck can haul more payload and make more money or be more competitive.

Elon Musk has scorned hydrogen but at this time it’s the fuel of choice for airplanes and heavy transportation. One major expense is that each hydrogen refueling station costs $16 million to build. So a lot of money has to be spent to build hydrogen stations along trucking routes.

The Nikola Badger pickup will be made by an OEM and they are in the middle of talks with the OEMs so they can’t discuss anything about the Badger.

She said he said that his two biggest problems are scaling up and fund raising.

She said that she was impressed, but Nikola does not have any products yet. She is optimistically skeptical and she will wait and see.

She said Nikola World is in early December.

If you don’t want to watch the video, most of this information is available on nikola’s website.


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