IVECO and Nikola formally unveiled the manufacturing facility in Ulm, Germany for Nikola Tre electric heavy-duty trucks; production will begin by year end. The first Nikola Tre models produced here will be delivered to select customers in the United States in 2022.
On the occassion of the launch, the two partners also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hamburg Port Authority AöR (HPA), stating their joint intent to partner in two phases encompassing up to 25 Nikola Tre battery-electric vehicles (BEV) for delivery to the Port throughout 2022.
In addition to the battery-electric vehicle (BEV) production model, the next evolution of this modular heavy-duty platform was also on display to the public in the form of the fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) prototype of the Nikola Tre. This subsequent model will enter production in Ulm by the end of 2023.
Spanning 50,000 square meters, of which 25,000 are covered, the Ulm manufacturing facility features a final assembly process that has been designed for electric-born vehicles. This site, and first phase of industrialization, represents joint investment by IVECO and Nikola and involves a projected 160 suppliers in the process from start to finish.
The production line is currently anticipated to be capable of manufacturing approximately 1,000 units per shift per year and is expected to undergo progressive ramp-up in the following years. The site is expected to operate according to the principles of the World Class Manufacturing program, with the goal of achieving zero waste, zero accidents, zero failures and zero stock, confirmed by its key characteristics which include fully digital shopfloor management designed to guarantee 100% traceability and paperless operations.
Based on the IVECO S-WAY truck platform with an electric axle co-designed and produced by FPT Industrial, the Nikola Tre features Nikola’s advanced electric and fuel cell technology, along with key components provided by Bosch. Together, the teams have designed a modular platform capable of fuel cell as well as battery propulsion technology.
Launching the battery technology first will drive the maturity of the underlying platform before adding the fuel cell as a range-extension technology, Nikola said.
MOU with Hamburg Port Authority. The first phase of the agreement with the Port involves testing of the Nikola Tre BEVs for transport and logistics operations together with high-performance charging solutions. A more definitive second phase in the project partnership plans to see the full integration of the BEV vehicles in port operations, installation of charging infrastructure and on-site service support including major suppliers.
The vehicles provided for these two phases will be the US version of the Nikola Tre with special permissions for in-port operation.