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The Next Transportation Industry Disrupter – Hybrid Semis. All Hype or Reality?

Larry Simcox
Sr. Director

The Next Industry Disrupter – Hybrid Semis. All Hype or Reality?

I have to admit that I have been a car and truck geek since I was a little boy. I was an Air Force brat growing up and when we traveled to our family’s home on holidays to Knoxville Tennessee I was always amazed by all the big rigs on the road. Always wondering where they were going and what they were hauling. This love of trucking led me to my current role at Oracle on the Supply Chain Cloud go to market team.

CNG Electric Hybrid Semi

I recently received a news feed about a new hybrid semi that is coming to market with big promises for cost savings. The company is Nikola Motor Company, a Utah based startup, who recently unveiled a compressed natural gas-electric hybrid semi. In my opinion hybrid semis are the next big disrupter in the trucking industry. I am very excited about this new technology and when tied to state of the art logistics and transportation optimization solutions like Oracle Transportation Management Cloud the savings potential will be a game changer.

According to Nikola Motor Comapany’s website the no idling Nikola One will be fitted with a 6x6 100% electric drive that will run at half the cost per mile than current diesel engines. The Nikola One will also offer thirty seven hundred feet pounds of torque, two thousand horsepower and a twelve hundred mile range between refueling. The hybrid will use CNG to power its turbine battery chargers. Also unique about this company is their planned 1,500 CNG filling stations across the United States and Canada where they will provide their own fuel (Nikola Motor Company also owns natural gas drilling company) at a discount rate of $1.50 per DGE of natural gas.

How can Nikola Motor Company guarantee $1.50 per DGE of natural gas for its customers?

According to their website, Nikola owns the rights to its own natural gas wells along with the Nikola One fleet that transports the natural gas from the wells to the stations. With 7 wells on a single property, Nikola can pump out millions of gallons of clean natural gas each day. Nikola plans on having more than 5 well sites for redundancy throughout the United States. Complete vertical integration removes market uncertainties and allows Nikola Motor to control its own prices and keep them that way for Nikola customers. Nikola bypasses all the gas companies, liquifies the gas on site, then delivers it to the station through its fleet of electric trucks. Providing their customers with company owned filling stations is right out of another automotive disrupter’s playbook – Tesla Motors.

Huge Savings Potential when tied to Oracle Transportation Management

It will be interesting to see how the hybrid semi-truck industry evolves over the coming years. I look forward to the substantial cost savings when these trucks are matched with Oracle’s Transportation Management Cloud products via our customers. Feel free to comment below.

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