In Europe, courtesy of FreightWaves, IVECO’s partnership with U.S.-based Nikola Motor, announced in September, has already yielded its first truck launch. The first units of the Nikola TRE, based on the S-WAY truck design launched by IVECO in July, will be delivered to customers in its battery electric vehicle (BEV) format in 2021.

“The Nikola TRE is the first step on the path toward the Nikola fuel cell electric model (FCEV), which will be available to customers by 2023,” said the companies in a launch on December 3 Turin, Italy.

“This truck will be offered in both variations,” said Trevor Milton, CEO and founder of Nikola Motor. “We will tell a customer truly what’s best for them – we don’t care which way you go.” Nikola’s fuel cell will be the starting point for the design of the electric battery, so that the Nikola TRE BEC can be converted to fuel-cell technology.

Earlier this year the two companies announced their intention to enter an exclusive strategic partnership to develop emissions-neutral Class 8 heavy-duty trucks through the deployment of fuel cell technology for the North American and European markets. Mark Russel, president, Nikola Motor, said the problem with many new alternative propulsion trucking solutions was that the fuel and vehicle were often not available simultaneously. By contrast, Nikola will take a “chicken AND egg” approach, rolling out hydrogen stations as trucks are sold.

The management of the companies believe that total coverage of Europe with hydrogen stations will only require around 70 installations, around a tenth of the estimated number required to adequately cover North America.

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