Two years ago, hydrogen  fuel cell and battery electric truck start up, Nikola was on the nose  with investors and the industry after a scandal surrounding alleged falsified test results and mock up videos. However the US based zero emission truck hopeful seems to have come back from the edge of oblivion thanks, firstly to its partnership with European giant Iveco, and more recently with other credible corporate partners.

The latest  is automatic transmission giant, Allison Transmission, which announce this week it had partnered with Nikola to conduct testing of its Heavy Duty Class 8 battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) at Allison’s Vehicle Electrification and Environmental Test (VEET) Centre. Allison announced that the tests will take place in the 20,000-square-metre VEET Centre, which  it says offers the ability to conduct year-round testing in one centralised location.

“We’re proud to collaborate with Nikola as they develop innovative, next-generation vehicles designed to reduce emissions and optimize performance,” said David Proctor, general manager, Allison Vehicle Electrification and Environmental Test Centre.

“Our facility has the capabilities to support external customer test and validation programs for vehicles powered by every major propulsion type, which reinforces Allison’s commitment to taking a leadership role in the development of alternative fuel options for the commercial vehicle industry.”

The two companies say they will collaborate to test BEV and FCEV performance through controlled thermal environments and dynamometer road simulations, capable of simulating a wide range of duty cycles. The claim the tests will utilise Nikola’s hydrogen refuelling equipment along with a constant flow of hydrogen supplied by the facility to allow for uninterrupted test runs. Evaluation of the vehicles will include monitoring battery management and HVAC testing which leverages solar simulation to replicate extreme temperatures.

Allison says that its VEET Centre provides benefits for OEMs including the ability to conduct testing in a controlled, consistent environment which enables secure, dependable, repeatable results.

At the facility, Allison says it simulates real world applications and climate conditions, allowing OEMs to reduce product development and validation timelines to bring innovative technology and vehicle systems to market faster and more efficiently. It also enables testing in a condensed timeframe that is not dependent on seasonal climate and road conditions results in reduced costs compared to on-road testing.

“Leveraging the capabilities of Allison’s VEET Centre has been a key enabler for us to accelerate our product development cycle and confidently bring to market our Tre BEV early last year,” said Nikola’s head of vehicle validation, Adam Tarleton.

“We are looking forward to continued collaboration with Allison on our Tre FCEV product to deliver an industry-leading, best-in-class hydrogen FCEV with the performance, quality and reliability the commercial truck segment demands,” Tarleton said.

The two companies say the partnership  is an example of how industry is working together to drive the development of alternative fuel options for the commercial vehicle industry.

“The testing at the VE+ET Center will play a crucial role in helping to bring these vehicles to market faster and more efficiently, while also helping to reduce emissions and improve performance,” they said.