Nikola releases a new video showcasing its mobile charging trailer that can be equipped with one or two chargers. Each offers 175 kilowatts of DC fast charging. Nikola started deliveries of Tre battery-powered semi-truck last year and further announced several fleet orders from its customers. Later in January, the company received approvals from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as a zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV). Thus making it eligible for the $120,000 incentive option for its customers.
The Pheonix, Arizona-based company is only getting started with the charging infrastructure for battery-powered medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. To support customers that don’t have access to charging points, Nikola is getting ready to roll out its first Mobile Charging Trailers (MCT). Powered by Tritium, MCT is said to “enable a smooth transition to a permanent recharging infrastructure plan without incurring a significant capital expense.”
While Nikola has mentioned the Mobile Charging Trailer before, now is the first time we get to see it on video. The MCT is a modular solution that can be equipped with one or two chargers with an output of 175 kilowatts of DC fast charging. Nikola says the MCT can be deployed anytime, anywhere to recharge any electric vehicle equipped with a CCS 1 connector. Contrary to what you might think, the Mobile Charging Trailer is not powered by onboard batteries; it draws power either from the grid or a mobile power source (i.e. a generator), which means it’s only really usable in places that have access to electricity.
While automakers are working on getting permits and other requirements for their charging infrastructure. Nikola found an alternative to go ahead and work around things. The trailer can be used anywhere without any hassle, and customers are satisfied with the services. When a charging station that is not mobile needs servicing, it can’t be immediately taken to the automaker and things may not always seem convenient. However, Nikola’s charging trailers can be used effectively.
Targeting customers that are waiting for permits to install chargers at their locations and the development of recharging infrastructure, MCT allows them to use their electric trucks right away. Installing permanent chargers for a Class 8 truck like the Nikola Tre BEV is known to take six months to one year, so it makes sense to use an MCT in the meantime. From the video, it can be seen that one Mobile Charging Trailer equipped with a single charger can charge two to three trucks per day as charging from 20% to 80% SoC takes 2.5 hours for each truck.