Truck maker Iveco’s parent company CaseNewHolland Industrial (CNH Industrial) has signed on to invest approximately $AUD370 million or about $US250 million in next gen hydrogen truck maker, Nikola and will lead the Series D investment in the start up.

While high profile rival Tesla has bumped back the launch of its battery electric Semi Truck, the vaidity and long term viability of which has been questioned by pundtits, Nikola’s hydrogen fue.l cell and battery zero emisison electric prime movers will be tirst to market accorcin to all reports and have a better loing term future.

Nikola’s three projected prime mover models, the Nikola One sleeper cab bonneted comnventional prine mover, the Nikola Two day cab and the Euro oriented Nikola Tre cab are set to hit the road in 2023 and the comapny has close to 15000 confirmed reservations for productions slots.

Nikola is aiming to raise around  $AUD1.25 million ( $US1billion)  in the latest round of funding offering up to , 25 per cent ownership to new investors and business partners such as CNH Industrial.

“Nikola has the technology but needs a partner with a European network to achieve it in a timely manner,” said Nikola chaiman Trevor Milton.

“With CNH Industrial’s investment and partnership, we can now aim tyo deliver zero-emission hydrogen trucks iun Europe,” he added.

“It is exciting to see one of Europe’s leading truck makers in Iveco taking the lead in providing zero-emission solutions through its partnership with Nikola,” said Milton.

“With CNH Industrial coming on board, we now have access to manufacturing know-how, purchasing power, validated truck parts, plant engineering and much more.

“This investment affirms Nikola’s ability to commercialise a truck.”

Nikola says CNHI’s commercial vehicle and powertrain subsidiaries Iveco and FPT Industrial will provide engineering and manufacturing expertise to effort.

The investment in Nikola follows a major restructure at CNHI which announced it was spinning off Iveco and FPT into a single listed company, which will see FPT Industrial produce powertrain solutions and accelerate the development of alternative propulsion solutions.

Nikola will develop technologies for the joint venture with CNH include fuel-cells, e-axles, onboard hydrogen fuel storage, wirless software updates, vehicle controls, advanced two way telematics, and hydrogen refuelling networks to enhance CNH’s ventures in Europe.

“Global climate change, geopolitical conflicts, future availability of fossil fuels and a self-aware circular economy all call for a fundamental change in how we operate,” said CNH commercial and specialty vehicles president Gerrit Marx.

“Fuel-cell and battery electric will deliver the ultimate goal of zero-emission transport and we aim to take the lead in transforming industry including fuel supply and lifecycle ownership,” said Marx.

The tie up will allow Nikola to take advantage of Iveco’s extensive sales and service network to deliverr faster access to Europe for the US truck start up.

 CNH CEO Hubertus Mühlhäuser said the increasing focus on the need to reduce automotive emissions is driving industry to rapidly seek advanced solutions.