More Competition for Tesla & Nikola in 18-Wheeler Trucks

Having a fleet of fully electric cars on the road is already becoming to be considered to be within the realm of possibilities in the years and decades ahead. But what about all of those heavy trucks that burn diesel driving across the country? Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) was supposed to be well on the way to competing against Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA

) in the race to electrified big-rig trucks.

Now a new potential player has emerged effectively in very short order. A company called Triton Solar has debuted an electric full-service 17-wheeler. The company’s Triton-EV subsidiary has debuted a 18-wheeler that runs in combination of fuel cells and batteries that will give 220,000 pounds of tractor towing capacity.

The new truck is represented as having the same towing capacity as any comparable diesel truck on the road. The company also claims that it was able to produce the prototype in just 35 days and that the entire effort was self-funded.

As far as the company’s representation, it is using a lot of batteries and a little bit of hydrogen rather than other fuel cell trucks. The batteries help with the torque and pulling the weight, and the hydrogen is means to act as a range extender as the hydrogen fuel cell generator is used to put power back into the battery pack.

According to the corporate press release, this new Triton-EV semi-truck is projected to have a range of about 300 miles. The company has not yet determined a price that it will change, but the release is showing it sell likely be between $150,00 and $250,000 to match industry levels. The company is also said to now be exploring partnership options.

It is probably going to be some time before we know how Triton’EV’s semi is going to compare to others that were thought to be further along.

Nikola’s truck, Nikola One, is currently in an unknown status now that the company has run into a fiasco in recent weeks after a short-seller’s allegations of fraud. The company’s website is still targeting a mileage range of 500 to 750 miles and there are also additional models that the company is working on.

Tesla’s Semi is expected to be able to reach 60 miles per hour with 80,000 pounds of weight and was last seen as having a projected range of 300 to 500 miles. Its expected base price on the Tesla site was shown as $150,000 for the 300-mile range and $180,000 for the 500 mile range model.

While the release was mainly about a 18-wheeler, Triton-EV said that the company also plans to release a Triton model H SUV in the coming months.

The Triton-EV corporate release includes a 1:24 video demonstration in a controlled parking lot debut.

As with all emerging technologies, this is going to require more research and it may be some time before it can be available.



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