Graepel’s vehicle division is always growing. Now it has added electric trucks as well: Together with Iveco, development and production of battery panels for Nikola’s Tre BEV are underway, the world’s first series of trucks powered by electric batteries.
This was announced by Graepel in Löningen. Graepel puts the target quantity at around 100,000 units.
However, Nikola’s production of the fully electric truck is not this far along at present. Despite this, numerous vehicles have already been delivered, with more already on the order books. According to reports, the goal is therefore to increase production capacity in 2023 to more than 20,000 units a year. The main production site and the original headquarters of Nikola is in Arizona, USA.
The Americans have gotten the vehicle manufacturers Iveco on board as a major partner, with the two companies founding Nikola Iveco Europe GmbH in Ulm. The intention here is to manufacture the Tre BEV and, if possible, further models for the Europe target market. A large production capacity is also available here.
The Tre is the third (from the Italian “tre”) vehicle project of the 900 employee-strong manufacturer founded in 2015. BEV stands for “battery electric vehicle.” The three-axle tractor unit is based on the Iveco S-Way, manufactured by the Italians in Madrid. According to the website, the truck possesses engine power totaling 645 HP / 474 kW and offers a range of 521 KM (330 miles). Recharging the 733 kWh battery is reported to take just 160 minutes. Additional models with a significantly larger range are in the planning stage.
Graepel’s stake in the project is quite literally visible: This consists of nine massive panels, adorning a large part of the chassis behind the cabin. The battery container lies amongst them. The covers are manufactured from aluminum and feature anti-slip embossing, a specialty of Graepel. This gives them extremely high dimensional stability, allowing them to function as mechanical protective elements for the vehicle’s sensitive high-current range.
To produce these, Graepel has made additional investments in perforating technology and manufactured special pressing tools in its own tool shop. Unlike other suppliers, this allows almost the entire value-added chain to be brought in-house – this is a real benefit for customers in terms of speed, costs and confidentiality.
Caption: Nikola is looking to commence production of its Tre BEV electric truck starting 2023 with the help of partners from Germany (photo: Nikola)
Caption: Protecting the powerful battery pack of the fully electric Nikola Tre BEV: Special aluminum panels from the German supplier Graepel at the back on the chassis (photo: Graepel)