The current Euro VI and US 2010 standards achieve an approximately 95% reduction in emissions of the primary pollutants of concern from heavy-duty vehicles, fine particulate matter (PM), and nitrogen oxides (NO), from the Euro II and US 1994 baselines. Still, heavy-duty vehicles are worldwide a growing contributor to air pollution, fuel consumption, and global-warming emissions in the on-road transportation sector. The transport sector consumes more than half of global oil production and releases nearly a quarter of all anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.
The economies of the G20 represent over 90 percent of global vehicle sales. The policies of G20 members thus largely dictate the energy efficiency, air-quality impacts, and climate impacts of the global transport sector.
We must think outside the box and consider alternatives beyond the diesel heavy-duty engines, such as electric drive and jet engine power-train. Mr. Nikola Tesla’s surname is nowadays a well-known trademark of the American market leader electric car manufacturer. In May 2017, a new electric driven semi-truck got the first name of the Serbian American inventor.
Nikola Motor Company designs and manufactures electric components, drive-trains, and vehicles including the Nikola One electric semi-truck.Nikola’s custom electric motors operate at 95% efficiency, so when it comes to hills they are quicker going up, and they save money going down. While other trucks are losing energy and riding their brakes, Nikola One is capturing the energy, recharging batteries – saving brakes, noise and money.While diesel engines require high RPM’s to reach peak torque, Nikola’s electric motors hit peak torque almost instantly. Instant torque combined with all-wheel drive give Nikola One the ability to accelerate nearly 2x faster than a stock diesel tractor.
There are several promising factors that give Nikola One the advantage when it comes to fuel economy: better aerodynamics, using energy only when needed (no idling), charging batteries via regenerative braking, six-wheel drive – pulling and pushing at the same time, up to 95% efficient electric motors, up to 40% thermal efficient turbine.
With 6X6 regenerative braking and air disk brakes, Nikola’s electric semi-truck can stop nearly 2x faster than any other semi-truck on the market – cutting stopping distance in half. Nikola One begins braking within 10 milliseconds; hundreds of times faster than advanced air-only disc brakes. The negative torque applied by the same electric motors brings braking to a whole new level.
Diesel-powered tractors have a high center of gravity due to the natural placement of the engine and weight of the cab to support the engine. Nikola has lowered the center of gravity by removing the diesel engine, transmission, emissions equipment and installing batteries, electric motors and a turbine below the frame rail. This keeps the center of gravity lower than any other semi-truck on the market. Lower center of gravity means more control and safer driving.
Torque vectoring is one of the most advanced features for heavy duty trucking. It allows control of each wheel independently through drive-by-wire. By communicating with the motors up to 30 times a second, the speed of each wheel can be adjusted while cornering, maneuvering, accelerating and braking – making it safer for drivers.
Nikola One has 2.000 horsepower, 320kWh battery, and 1.200miles, about 2.000km range. Nicola trucks can take natural gas from any CNG station and has a concept of “never plug in” – turbine charge batteries automatically while driving. Impressive.
Until the day when electricity driven heavy-duty-vehicles will become a standard in road transportation, we better take a closer look where there is room for improvement regarding an increase of efficiency and reducing of wasting. Environmental strategies are cost cutters at the most successful players in the road freight transportation already. Reduction of the empty running of freight trucks is an area where it is easy to save assets and increase revenue. Using new-kind-of tools in road freight transportation does not stop at using revolutionary semi-trucks, it also means implementing innovative communication platform. In this spring a new networking and trucks capacity sharing platform is available for freight brokers and truckers. As a user of TrucksOnTheMap you search in time for free trucks of your own fleet and among partners’ assets, all on one single online map. As simple as that, clerks have an objective possibility to look for and book the closest possible trucks, thus reducing empty running right away.