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The Tesla of Hybrid Trucks and UTV's, Nikola?

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G. David Felt
Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com

 

The Tesla of Hybrid Trucks and UTV's, Nikola?

 

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Nikola Motor Company is a 3 year old auto company that has just come out of skunk mode. They announced this week two items that are a passion of the CEO. First is the Nikola One Electric Semi-Truck and the second is the Nikola Zero their electric UTV.
 
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Starting off with their Nikola Zero slated for delivery in mid 2017 is a 150 mile Range 400 volt, 520 HP / 476 lb-ft of torque 4x4 all wheel drive off road quad. This UTV has a solar roof for powering all electronics allowing the battery pack to be dedicated to the powertrain. You can reserve yours now for only $750.00 based on the MSRP of $42,000.
 
post-12-0-45278200-1463025351_thumb.jpg
 
The Nikola One is their electric Semi-Truck. This truck is a 6x6 100% pure electric drive with zero idle. 2,000 HP / 3700 lb-ft of torque with a 1200 mile range, regenerative braking, LNG Turbine generator for charging the battery pack on the go. 
 
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post-12-0-39813900-1463025356_thumb.jpg
 
You can review their products in detail here at their web site.
 

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WTF? 

How so? Even Paccar the owner of Peterbilt and Kenworth have concept trucks looking like this with a single access door running on CNG, LNG or Bio Diesel. It was only a matter of time before someone decided to apply what the Trains are powered by, electric motors with LNG generator.

 

The CEO is a tree hugger and wanted a fun outdoor UTV that did not pollute, so now we see their drawing of their green UTV.

 

Personally I really like these new aero Semi's.

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Might as well be the next Optimus Prime....

 

Cool stuff, but my first reaction is still WTF....

That would make a very cool update to Optimus! :D

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IMO, the fuel savings, emissions reductions, and  lower maintenance costs of hybrid drive will supplant present technology in semis. Isn't kind of dumb that an 18 wheeler going down a grade uses engine and friction braking to keep speed levels safe, thus requiring eventual R&R of components worn out doing this? And when the 18 wheeler is stuck on the turnpike as an accident is cleared, the diesel is burning fuel and spewing fumes. And, if that rig is on a four percent upgrade, when traffic starts again, the torque-less  wonder, must go through 12 gear changes to reach speed. When capital cost of hybrid technology gets low enough, the end of the present big rig will be upon us. This is an area that I think a full EV will never gain traction, unless roads have some sort of inductive rail to feed charge. In trucking, the business wants: the rig to be moving with cargo as much as possible, so charge down times are a problem to go along with added battery capacity adding weight to the system that must be subtracted from cargo. Also, charge drain rate goes up exponentially with speed and, with the inflection curve of a big truck being closer to low speeds than cars, it becomes quite a drag. Motor-hybrid systems can optimize power production to be at its most efficient at higher operating speeds, thus providing a factor to counteract drag loss. In an EV, because the power was produced remotely, one can only watch it go down the drain.

 

There are two revolutions going on in vehicle technology: electric power as a means of transmitting torque to drive wheels in either a full or "blended with mechanical" mode and battery packs substituting for an ICE and fuel tank as a means to source on board power. 

 

And it is all good.

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IMO, the fuel savings, emissions reductions, and  lower maintenance costs of hybrid drive will supplant present technology in semis. Isn't kind of dumb that an 18 wheeler going down a grade uses engine and friction braking to keep speed levels safe, thus requiring eventual R&R of components worn out doing this? And when the 18 wheeler is stuck on the turnpike as an accident is cleared, the diesel is burning fuel and spewing fumes. And, if that rig is on a four percent upgrade, when traffic starts again, the torque-less  wonder, must go through 12 gear changes to reach speed. When capital cost of hybrid technology gets low enough, the end of the present big rig will be upon us. This is an area that I think a full EV will never gain traction, unless roads have some sort of inductive rail to feed charge. In trucking, the business wants: the rig to be moving with cargo as much as possible, so charge down times are a problem to go along with added battery capacity adding weight to the system that must be subtracted from cargo. Also, charge drain rate goes up exponentially with speed and, with the inflection curve of a big truck being closer to low speeds than cars, it becomes quite a drag. Motor-hybrid systems can optimize power production to be at its most efficient at higher operating speeds, thus providing a factor to counteract drag loss. In an EV, because the power was produced remotely, one can only watch it go down the drain.

 

There are two revolutions going on in vehicle technology: electric power as a means of transmitting torque to drive wheels in either a full or "blended with mechanical" mode and battery packs substituting for an ICE and fuel tank as a means to source on board power. 

 

And it is all good.

These are NOT a pure EV Semi Solution, but a hybrid. Clearly if you knew EV technology you would never say this would not gain traction.

 

Unlike petrol engines and the multitude of transmission shifts especially on grade where they take forever to gain speed, EV is 100% Torque from zero, much easier to get up to speed. As proven in the train industry, electric motors on the wheels with a generator is superior to the current diesel motor powertrains.

 

This solution is a fast fill LNG or Liquid Natural Gas so you are not having to charge long term these trucks, plus they do a fast charge so the battery pack is capable of being fully charged in the regulated down time that the driver must sleep. Yet with the LNG generator, these new Hybrid trucks have 1200 mile range so they are more than able to cover the 16hr days a truck drive puts in before regulated sleep time / down time.

 

Future is HYBRID for Semis and unlike stuck on a turnpike during a storm, accident whatever, they can easily not spew any emissions at all.

 

Eventually this is a logical step in the direction of pure EV semis which is a ways off.

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I read this last week and I thought the IDEA is freakin great! I know it would be difficult to get up and running but if they would work a deal with a major company running very similar routes and build a refueling infrastructure around that I think that would be a great start.  Plus, 1200 miles of range? It isn't like the refueling stations need to be too close together. I you could eliminate/cut down the pollution of even 1 out of 100 semis on the road I would have to believe that is a pretty decent amount of crap kept out of the air in a year's time. 

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IMO, the fuel savings, emissions reductions, and  lower maintenance costs of hybrid drive will supplant present technology in semis. Isn't kind of dumb that an 18 wheeler going down a grade uses engine and friction braking to keep speed levels safe, thus requiring eventual R&R of components worn out doing this? And when the 18 wheeler is stuck on the turnpike as an accident is cleared, the diesel is burning fuel and spewing fumes. And, if that rig is on a four percent upgrade, when traffic starts again, the torque-less  wonder, must go through 12 gear changes to reach speed. When capital cost of hybrid technology gets low enough, the end of the present big rig will be upon us. This is an area that I think a full EV will never gain traction, unless roads have some sort of inductive rail to feed charge. In trucking, the business wants: the rig to be moving with cargo as much as possible, so charge down times are a problem to go along with added battery capacity adding weight to the system that must be subtracted from cargo. Also, charge drain rate goes up exponentially with speed and, with the inflection curve of a big truck being closer to low speeds than cars, it becomes quite a drag. Motor-hybrid systems can optimize power production to be at its most efficient at higher operating speeds, thus providing a factor to counteract drag loss. In an EV, because the power was produced remotely, one can only watch it go down the drain.

 

There are two revolutions going on in vehicle technology: electric power as a means of transmitting torque to drive wheels in either a full or "blended with mechanical" mode and battery packs substituting for an ICE and fuel tank as a means to source on board power. 

 

And it is all good.

These are NOT a pure EV Semi Solution, but a hybrid. Clearly if you knew EV technology you would never say this would not gain traction.

 

Unlike petrol engines and the multitude of transmission shifts especially on grade where they take forever to gain speed, EV is 100% Torque from zero, much easier to get up to speed. As proven in the train industry, electric motors on the wheels with a generator is superior to the current diesel motor powertrains.

 

This solution is a fast fill LNG or Liquid Natural Gas so you are not having to charge long term these trucks, plus they do a fast charge so the battery pack is capable of being fully charged in the regulated down time that the driver must sleep. Yet with the LNG generator, these new Hybrid trucks have 1200 mile range so they are more than able to cover the 16hr days a truck drive puts in before regulated sleep time / down time.

 

Future is HYBRID for Semis and unlike stuck on a turnpike during a storm, accident whatever, they can easily not spew any emissions at all.

 

Eventually this is a logical step in the direction of pure EV semis which is a ways off.

 

By full EV, I meant a vehicle that has only a battery and electric drive motor. And not gaining traction meant the market with respect to a vehicle that has only a battery and electric drive motor. It was rushed (crap) writing on my part. 

 

The semi that is the subject of this thread is excellent:

 

An on-board CNG turbine generator is clean, efficient means of producing power

 

As you pointed out, full electric drive has ample torque 

 

The battery recovers deceleration energy to improve the overall efficiency of the system

 

Any added capital cost, if it still exists, vs using diesel driving a mechanical transmission is made up for by reduced fuel cost and, IMO, less maintenance.

 

Less emissions keeps the air cleaner

.

My argument against a semi that has only a battery and electric drive motor is based on the added capital cost and weight to provide range. However, technological developments surely could change that. For example, cost per kwh of storage capacity is reaching $100 far faster than predicted in 2010. And batteries, due to their inherent modular construction, can be fabricated to allow for quick R&R at a rest stop. The rests stop can charge up the removed, depleted unit and have it ready for the next truck to come along. 

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I read this last week and I thought the IDEA is freakin great! I know it would be difficult to get up and running but if they would work a deal with a major company running very similar routes and build a refueling infrastructure around that I think that would be a great start.  Plus, 1200 miles of range? It isn't like the refueling stations need to be too close together. I you could eliminate/cut down the pollution of even 1 out of 100 semis on the road I would have to believe that is a pretty decent amount of crap kept out of the air in a year's time. 

 That crap is bad news. LNG powered ships are being proposed to make marine propulsion more environmentally friendly. 

 

http://fortune.com/2015/07/23/natural-gas-fueled-shipping/

 

 

 

 

TOTE claims that the Marlin class ships will emit 98 percent less nitrogen oxide, 97 percent less sulfur, and 72 percent less carbon dioxide than comparable conventional ships.

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I read this last week and I thought the IDEA is freakin great! I know it would be difficult to get up and running but if they would work a deal with a major company running very similar routes and build a refueling infrastructure around that I think that would be a great start.  Plus, 1200 miles of range? It isn't like the refueling stations need to be too close together. I you could eliminate/cut down the pollution of even 1 out of 100 semis on the road I would have to believe that is a pretty decent amount of crap kept out of the air in a year's time. 

 That crap is bad news. LNG powered ships are being proposed to make marine propulsion more environmentally friendly. 

 

http://fortune.com/2015/07/23/natural-gas-fueled-shipping/

 

 

 

 

TOTE claims that the Marlin class ships will emit 98 percent less nitrogen oxide, 97 percent less sulfur, and 72 percent less carbon dioxide than comparable conventional ships.

 

I guess I'm missing something?  Why is it bad news? If LNG is cleaner I would think that's a good thing. 

 

You also forgot a pretty importance piece of the above paragraph, "the ships are expected to produce 98 percent less sulfur oxides, 71 percent fewer nitric oxides, 71 percent less carbon dioxide, and a jaw-dropping 99 percent reduction in particulate emissions, all while increasing the vessels' fuel efficiency compared to conventional diesel engines."

Edited by ccap41
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IMO, the fuel savings, emissions reductions, and  lower maintenance costs of hybrid drive will supplant present technology in semis. Isn't kind of dumb that an 18 wheeler going down a grade uses engine and friction braking to keep speed levels safe, thus requiring eventual R&R of components worn out doing this? And when the 18 wheeler is stuck on the turnpike as an accident is cleared, the diesel is burning fuel and spewing fumes. And, if that rig is on a four percent upgrade, when traffic starts again, the torque-less  wonder, must go through 12 gear changes to reach speed. When capital cost of hybrid technology gets low enough, the end of the present big rig will be upon us. This is an area that I think a full EV will never gain traction, unless roads have some sort of inductive rail to feed charge. In trucking, the business wants: the rig to be moving with cargo as much as possible, so charge down times are a problem to go along with added battery capacity adding weight to the system that must be subtracted from cargo. Also, charge drain rate goes up exponentially with speed and, with the inflection curve of a big truck being closer to low speeds than cars, it becomes quite a drag. Motor-hybrid systems can optimize power production to be at its most efficient at higher operating speeds, thus providing a factor to counteract drag loss. In an EV, because the power was produced remotely, one can only watch it go down the drain.

 

There are two revolutions going on in vehicle technology: electric power as a means of transmitting torque to drive wheels in either a full or "blended with mechanical" mode and battery packs substituting for an ICE and fuel tank as a means to source on board power. 

 

And it is all good.

These are NOT a pure EV Semi Solution, but a hybrid. Clearly if you knew EV technology you would never say this would not gain traction.

 

Unlike petrol engines and the multitude of transmission shifts especially on grade where they take forever to gain speed, EV is 100% Torque from zero, much easier to get up to speed. As proven in the train industry, electric motors on the wheels with a generator is superior to the current diesel motor powertrains.

 

This solution is a fast fill LNG or Liquid Natural Gas so you are not having to charge long term these trucks, plus they do a fast charge so the battery pack is capable of being fully charged in the regulated down time that the driver must sleep. Yet with the LNG generator, these new Hybrid trucks have 1200 mile range so they are more than able to cover the 16hr days a truck drive puts in before regulated sleep time / down time.

 

Future is HYBRID for Semis and unlike stuck on a turnpike during a storm, accident whatever, they can easily not spew any emissions at all.

 

Eventually this is a logical step in the direction of pure EV semis which is a ways off.

 

By full EV, I meant a vehicle that has only a battery and electric drive motor. And not gaining traction meant the market with respect to a vehicle that has only a battery and electric drive motor. It was rushed (crap) writing on my part. 

 

The semi that is the subject of this thread is excellent:

 

An on-board CNG turbine generator is clean, efficient means of producing power

 

As you pointed out, full electric drive has ample torque 

 

The battery recovers deceleration energy to improve the overall efficiency of the system

 

Any added capital cost, if it still exists, vs using diesel driving a mechanical transmission is made up for by reduced fuel cost and, IMO, less maintenance.

 

Less emissions keeps the air cleaner

.

My argument against a semi that has only a battery and electric drive motor is based on the added capital cost and weight to provide range. However, technological developments surely could change that. For example, cost per kwh of storage capacity is reaching $100 far faster than predicted in 2010. And batteries, due to their inherent modular construction, can be fabricated to allow for quick R&R at a rest stop. The rests stop can charge up the removed, depleted unit and have it ready for the next truck to come along. 

 

Paccar, owner of Kenworth and Peterbuilt is building LNG trucks for use around the world and clearly some trucking companies like UPS, Walmart and others are helping to build the few LNG stations needed at central hubs to refill these trucks. I suspect we will see a change over much faster due to the lower cost of fuel but increase in torque these motors produce due to the higher octane of the fuel.

 

Figure in like what started this thread hybrid semis and you have a very efficient freight hauling solution with less pollution to the air.

 

A logical smart step towards the day of pure EV semis only.

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I read this last week and I thought the IDEA is freakin great! I know it would be difficult to get up and running but if they would work a deal with a major company running very similar routes and build a refueling infrastructure around that I think that would be a great start.  Plus, 1200 miles of range? It isn't like the refueling stations need to be too close together. I you could eliminate/cut down the pollution of even 1 out of 100 semis on the road I would have to believe that is a pretty decent amount of crap kept out of the air in a year's time. 

 That crap is bad news. LNG powered ships are being proposed to make marine propulsion more environmentally friendly. 

 

http://fortune.com/2015/07/23/natural-gas-fueled-shipping/

 

 

 

 

TOTE claims that the Marlin class ships will emit 98 percent less nitrogen oxide, 97 percent less sulfur, and 72 percent less carbon dioxide than comparable conventional ships.

 

I guess I'm missing something?  Why is it bad news? If LNG is cleaner I would think that's a good thing. 

 

You also forgot a pretty importance piece of the above paragraph, "the ships are expected to produce 98 percent less sulfur oxides, 71 percent fewer nitric oxides, 71 percent less carbon dioxide, and a jaw-dropping 99 percent reduction in particulate emissions, all while increasing the vessels' fuel efficiency compared to conventional diesel engines."

 

The crap I was referring to is diesel emissions which is what you called them. 

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Either way you look at this, it is a win win for the planet and our lungs! :D

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So Nikola has poked the Beast Musk, as he now is working on a Semi Solution. Interesting! :scratchchin:

Makes one wonder just how long before cities require these trucks internally for local deliveries. :scratchchin:

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Interestingly, the Norfolk Southern Railroad did an experiment with a battery powered locomotive with no regenerator. Performance hasn't been very good and it is mostly just a showpiece right now.

GE was working on a Hybrid Locomotive about 10 years ago, but nothing really came of it.  Right now, locos just exhaust their regenerative braking out as heat.  I wonder, as battery tech has improved over the last 10 years if someone will give it another go. 

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5 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Interestingly, the Norfolk Southern Railroad did an experiment with a battery powered locomotive with no regenerator. Performance hasn't been very good and it is mostly just a showpiece right now.

GE was working on a Hybrid Locomotive about 10 years ago, but nothing really came of it.  Right now, locos just exhaust their regenerative braking out as heat.  I wonder, as battery tech has improved over the last 10 years if someone will give it another go. 

That would be cool to see if it makes sense for the trains now especially with the trains that are using LNG for the generators instead of diesel, Maybe time to rethink the Hybrid Train.

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