Iveco and US tech firm Nikola seek to “disrupt” the industry with the TRE – a battery electric and eventually hydrogen-powered tractor unit for European markets.

Iveco has partnered with Arizona, US-based hydrogen fuel cell and electric drivetrain manufacturer Nikola to reveal the zero-emission Nikola TRE – a battery electric tractor unit that will also be offered as a hydrogen fuel cell-powered version.

At a grand reveal event held in Turin in early December and attended by Trucking, Iveco and Nikola took the wraps of a TRE concept tractor unit that will wear the Nikola badge, though is built around Iveco’s latest S-WAY chassis.

Aside from some obvious aesthetic changes, the S-WAY forms the bare bones of the vehicle, while Nikola provides the powertrain. The truck will be sold and maintained by Iveco’s dealer network.

“There will be no Iveco electric truck. It will be the Nikola TRE,” said Gerrit Marx, CNH Industrial president of commercial and specialty vehicles.

In terms of total cost of operation (TCO), the manufacturers said they are aiming for parity with a diesel truck – or better – over the vehicle’s lifetime.

Hubertus Mühlhauser, CEO of Iveco’s parent company CNH Industrial described the TRE as “a step-change revelation in the global truck market”. He billed the vehicle as “the coolest, most exciting, hippest truck on the planet.”

He was joined on stage by Nikola CEO Trevor Milton, who warned Europe’s commercial vehicle OEMs: “Nikola is coming into Europe like a freight train.” He said the TRE will be “the disruptor” of the established European CV market.

The battery electric TRE will launch at the IAA Show in 2020 and will hit the market in 2021. The hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) will launch in Europe in 2023, and arrive in the UK in 2026.

Full story in the February 2020 issue of Trucking, on sale January 3.