Monday, March 4, 2024

Nikola unveils first hydrogen fuel cell truck mobile fueler

Nikola Corporation has developed an innovative, heavy-duty, 700 bar (10,000 psi) hydrogen mobile fueler capable of direct fueling hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

Nikola’s mobile fueler program includes its own mobile fuelers as well as a number of third-party mobile fuelers, which will provide Nikola’s customers with a variety of flexible fueling options.

“Nikola has spent the greater part of two years developing a flexible mobile fueling solution which cools and compresses hydrogen to rapidly fill 700 bar FCEV heavy-duty trucks,” said Nikola Corporation President and CEO Michael Lohscheller. “Coupled with Nikola’s hydrogen tube trailer, with a capacity of 960 kg, Nikola’s mobile fueler can refuel customer trucks back-to-back. This will deliver flexible hydrogen fueling solutions for our customers starting in 2023 and will complement Nikola’s permanent hydrogen fueling stations, which are being developed.”

Nikola’s first mobile fueler has completed commissioning and testing and has been released for market operation. The company has additional hydrogen mobile fuelers being commissioned in the first quarter of 2023.

“Nikola’s mobile fueler program will be an integral part of Nikola’s flexible customer service in its early years by delivering hydrogen to its FCEV customers at locations that meet their needs,” said Carey Mendes, Nikola Corporation President of Energy. “Along with Nikola’s portfolio of hydrogen supply and permanent heavy-duty stations, these flexible mobile fuelers will ensure that our customers have complete coverage for their fueling needs.”

The American company recently announced that it had received a California Air Resources Board (CARB) Zero-Emission Powertrain Executive Order that is a requirement for the Nikola Tre FCEV to be eligible for CARB’s Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) program.

On final approval, purchasers of the Nikola Tre FCEV in 2023 may be able to qualify for California’s state-based incentive valued at $240,000 per truck, $270,000 per truck for drayage fleets, or up to $288,000 per truck for fleets. Eligible non-drayage fleets may secure up to 30 HVIP vouchers, and drayage fleets may secure up to 50 vouchers.

In addition to the funding provided by HVIP, purchasers of Nikola’s Tre FCEVs will also qualify for an additional $40,000 clean commercial vehicle tax credit in 2023 from the federal government.

With a range of up to 500 miles, the Nikola Tre FCEV is expected to have among the longest ranges of all commercially available zero tailpipe emission Class 8 tractors. It also realizes weight savings when compared to Class 8 BEVs with a similar range. The Tre FCEV is well-suited for a variety of applications ranging from drayage and intermodal to metro-regional truckload and less than truckload to certain specialized hauling use cases.