Nikola To Build Hydrogen Fuel Stations
Nikola stated that their HYLA brand will be responsible for their hydrogen production enterprise and the fuelling stations. In addition, it will provide the fuel to both its own heavy-duty vehicles as well as other companies'.
Michael Lohscheller, CEO and president of the Phoenix-based company, reported during a webcast on Wednesday that production of fuel cell trucks for commercial customers is on track for this year. In addition, Nikola has designed mobile fueling units to service early buyers and anticipates having 60 hydrogen stations operational by 2026. This news follows the tumult of last year, when Nikola's founder Trevor Milton was accused of misrepresenting their technology and found guilty of fraud.
Nikola Corp $NKLA is launching into the zero-emissions truck market with its green up pointing triangle and initiative to establish a fuelling network. The seven-year-old firm has partnered with several hydrogen producers in North America, guaranteeing enough fuel for around 7,500 heavy-duty trucks by 2026.
The company started selling Tre semis powered by batteries in early 2022, but asserted that battery trucks are optimal for short-range transport while hydrogen is more efficient for long-distance haulage. This is due to the fact that hydrogen fuel cell systems aren't as heavy as the voluminous battery packs needed to cover extended distances, and they can be refueled in a time frame comparable to diesels. According to Lohscheller, the fuel cell Tre truck can cover 500 miles without needing refuelling more than every 20 minutes.
Nikola has drastically reduced its aims, which once encompassed electric pickups, military vehicles, and battery-powered watercraft during Milton's tenure, and is now focusing on creating and providing hydrogen fuel in addition to battery and hybrid-fueled trucks. The corporation's stability appears to have improved recently; however, its capacity to raise extra capital for vehicle production plants as well as fuelling stations is uncertain. No financial particulars or projections of the HYLA business were offered at the Wednesday conference. Fourth-quarter results will be revealed on Feb. 23.
Nikola plans to establish three HYLA stations in Long Beach, California, catering to trucks at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, as well as two more in the neighbouring cities of Ontario and Colton. Additionally, they are building a large-scale hydrogen plant in Buckeye, Arizona, with a capacity of 150 metric tons per day; the target of their total combined production rate is 300 tons daily for their original HYLA network.
Nikola has not yet revealed how much they will be charging for a kilogram of hydrogen. Executives at the company have mentioned that it will be much less expensive than the current tariff in California, being the only U.S. state with retail hydrogen stations. True Zero, who is responsible for supplying fuel cells to Toyota, Hyundai and Honda, are now asking $25 per kilogram of the gas - a considerable increase of 80% on what was charged this time last year. This sharp rise is due to the surge in natural gas prices, which is fundamental to the production of True Zero's product.
In comparison to traditional methods, Nikola and companies like Plug Power are looking to produce hydrogen made from renewable sources such as electricity and water, rather than natural gas. Backing for this "green" hydrogen technology has risen significantly recently, in part due to considerable federal subsidies of $3 per kilogram granted when the Infrastructure Reduction Act was passed last year.
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