Today’s Pickup: Wabco pours $10M into Nikola

U.S. Xpress has committed to testing the Nikola One. Nikola Motors has secured a $10M investment from Wabco.

U.S. Xpress has committed to testing the Nikola One. Nikola Motors has secured a $10M investment from Wabco.

Good day,

Global technology company Wabco Holdings has acquired a 1% equity stake in Nikola Motor Company with a $10 million investment. Nikola is designing a hydrogen-electric Class 8 truck.

“As vehicles become increasingly autonomous, electric and connected, Wabco continues to be at the forefront of breakthrough technology innovation,” said Jacques Esculier, chairman and CEO. “We are excited to invest in Nikola Motor Company to help the industry realize our joint vision of electrified and autonomous trucks, buses, trailers and off-highway vehicles. Wabco’s technologies, notably industry-leading braking, traction and stability control systems, continue to advance the transportation industry.”

The Nikola One is a sleeper cab model. Testing is expected to begin later in 2018. A day cab, Nikola Two, will launch later. The truck uses hydrogen to power an electric motor. With its electric drive/hydrogen power combination, the tractor will have an effective range of 800 to 1,200 mi. before a hydrogen fill-up will be needed. It will take 15 minutes to refill the hydrogen tank, Nikola Motor said, and the cost to operate the Nikola One will be about half that compared to a comparative diesel-powered tractor.

The electric engine is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and produces 2,000 lbs.-ft. of torque and 1,000 hp. with a 320 kWh battery.

“Wabco continues to stay at the vanguard of technology and innovation. Here at Nikola, we are driving a paradigm shift in the transportation industry by creating the most advanced semi-truck ever built. Wabco is a vital business partner to enable autonomous driving, electronic braking, and stability control for trucks and trailers,” said Trevor Milton, Nikola founder and CEO. “Wabco is recognized as a global leader in safety and efficiency technologies for next-generation commercial vehicles. We have added a world-class supplier to the Nikola truck family and are looking forward to our collaboration to bring Nikola's zero emission trucks to market.”

Did you know?

While the number of orders for Tesla’s new electric Semis is disputed here in the U.S., the company is looking overseas, now taking orders for the truck in the Netherlands, Norway and the UK.

Quotable:

“It took a highly-coordinated effort with several agencies during the initial emergency and recovery to reopen the highway after this terrible tragedy. We appreciate the patience of people in the nearby communities and users of the road while crews worked to ensure this stretch of I-5 is safe for the traveling public.”

- John Wynands, Washington State Department of Transportation Administrator, on the reopening of all lanes of I-5 following Monday’s Amtrak derailment

In other news:

Alabama, APM Terminals to expand Port of Mobile

APM Terminals and the Alabama State Port Authority will spend $49.5 million to expand a container facility at the Port of Mobile. (American Shipper)

Webasto to develop electric charging program

Webasto, a global automotive equipment manufacturer, will develop and market electric vehicle charging stations for North America. (Auto Channel)

ELD device delays among issues for drivers

A number of drivers ordered ELDs but did not have them installed on Monday as manufacturers faced a crush of last-minute orders and could not ship them in time. (DC Velocity)

I-5 in Washington reopens

All southbound lanes of I-5 in Dupont, WA, have reopened this morning following Monday’s deadly Amtrak train derailment. (King5 News)

Ohio highway a likely spot for truck platooning test

U.S. Route 33 in Ohio will likely be a truck platooning test highway as part of the state’s Smart Mobility Corridor program progresses. (Transport Topics)

Final Thoughts

The quick work of construction crews in Washington state has led to the reopening of I-5 in the DuPont area just three days after the deadly Amtrak derailment there. That is good news for trucking moving through the area as many detours were jammed with vehicles, and some were not suitable for tractor-trailers.

Hammer down everyone!

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