The results of three months work since the joint agreement was signed between Iveco and Nikola to convert S-Way trucks into battery electric vehicles (BEV).  Perhaps we should start calling them Battery Electric Trucks (BET – sounds better than BEV)?

Iveco S-Way & Nikola TRE Moving
Iveco S-Way & Nikola TRE- Looks Striking

So far they have released images of the scale model – or maquette – of the truck.  The outward appearance of the truck should not look too dissimilar to the standard S-Way as the changes are all skin deep.

Iveco are providing the tech behind manufacturing a truck and Nikola are carrying out the electronic trickery.

The company thinks that it can get the truck on show by September’s Hanover IAA truck show – although events around Europe will likely slow this down. It will certainly have an impact on the proposed delivery dates of 2021 for the first units into customers hands.

Unperturbed by the current pandemic, the company believes that a fuel cell version could be available as soon as 2023, although ther is no mention of price for these trucks yet.

Gerrit Marx, President Commercial and Specialty Vehicles, said:

The IVECO S-WAY is a stand-out product, which embodies IVECO’s concept of customer-centricity and has already gained momentum in the markets with well-deserved success. It is the bones of the Nikola TRE and marks the beginning of a new journey towards zero-emissions trucking, providing the platform for us to introduce disruptive features that will change the transport industry.

The BET Specification

The Nikola TRE 4×2 revealed is a tractor unit, designed for regional distribution, with a range of up to 400 km and dynamic performance equal or better than a diesel equivalent model.

The vehicle will feature a modular battery system with a total capacity of up to 720 kWh, which can be tailored to match an operator’s duty cycle. The electric driveline will deliver 480 kW Continuous Power Output with 1,800 Nm Peak Torque.

The Nikola TRE will also be available in 2- and 3-axle rigid versions, with GVW ranging from 18 to 26 tonnes for urban distribution and municipal work.

Iveco S-Way & Nikola TRE Rear
Iveco S-Way & Nikola TRE – An uncluttered rear of the cab

Electronic Wizardry

The Nikola TRE will feature a new infotainment system based on Nikola’s proprietary operating system that integrates infotainment and navigation functions, as well as controls for the bulk of the vehicle’s functionalities. The system’s features include climate control, mirror adjustment, suspension height adjustment, 360-degree camera system, navigation, Bluetooth audio system, comprehensive vehicle settings and admin vehicle diagnostics.

Fuel Cell – The Future

Iveco and Nikola have adopted a modular approach in developing their electric offering for the European market, which is unique in the industry. Nikola’s fuel cell will be the starting point for the design of the electric battery, so that the Nikola TRE Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) can be converted to fuel-cell technology. With this approach, the partners are taking the long view, bringing both technologies on stream now to pursue BEV and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) in their offering in the next few years.