Nikola’s Hydrogen Stations Score $58M Grant; FCEV’s Impressive 630km Range Shines

"Nikola Corporation Receives $16.3 Million Boost for Hydrogen Fueling Stations, Total Funding Reaches $58.2 Million"

Nikola Corporation, a prominent player in the field of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV), as well as energy solutions, has secured an additional $16.3 million grant to support its hydrogen fueling stations. This new grant brings Nikola’s total funding for its hydrogen infrastructure to $58.2 million.

Last month, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) awarded Nikola, operating under its HYLA brand, a $41.9 million grant under the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP). The purpose of this grant is to build six heavy-duty hydrogen refueling stations across Southern California. These stations are specifically designed to meet the growing demand for heavy-duty commercial hydrogen refueling. Additionally, Nikola has announced that it has received 202 sales orders for its Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks, which reflects the increasing industry trend towards sustainable transportation solutions.

In Canada, First Hydrogen has reported that the road test results of its FCEV have exceeded expectations. The feedback from the trial has been promising, confirming the viability and sustainability of hydrogen energy. This raises the question: Is hydrogen the next gold rush?

As the world faces the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions, the search for alternative energy sources is intensifying. Hydrogen is emerging as a promising alternative, particularly in the transportation sector, where it provides a cleaner option. Unlike fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases, hydrogen fuel can be burned cleanly, with water being the only by-product. Projections indicate that hydrogen fuel will play a crucial role in the coming decades, with experts predicting that the global hydrogen market will reach approximately $231 billion by 2030. Both regular electric vehicles (EVs) and FCEVs have their advantages and disadvantages, and hydrogen-powered vehicles often have a similar range to traditional gas-powered vehicles. However, charging a longer-range battery EV takes more time, while refueling a hydrogen vehicle is similar to filling up a car at a gas station. Some vehicle manufacturers, such as Toyota, are even betting on hydrogen by developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. However, the infrastructure for hydrogen refueling still lags behind EV battery charging infrastructure. Nonetheless, a few countries have made hydrogen energy a core component of their clean energy transition, and Nikola is leading the way in making hydrogen refueling more accessible through its HYLA stations.

Nikola, as a global manufacturer of zero-emission battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles, energy solutions, and hydrogen stations, is revolutionizing the industry. The additional grant received from the California Transportation Commission builds on Nikola’s partnership with Voltera to develop up to 50 HYLA hydrogen stations in North America over the next five years. The previous grant of almost $42 million was sponsored by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to promote the adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) in freight technology across the state. Carey Mendes, the President of Nikola Energy, expressed gratitude for the support received from state agencies, emphasizing that these grants demonstrate strong support for HYLA’s mission of establishing a comprehensive zero-emission transportation solution. Mendes further stated that Nikola is prioritizing the development of a hydrogen ecosystem to advance the deployment of their hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks. These grants are crucial for enabling Nikola’s first-mover zero-emission hydrogen fleet and its HYLA fueling stations. The company also plans to create an open network of commercial refueling infrastructure in California and expand it across North America.

Following the grant announcement, Nikola’s stock has seen a significant increase of 459% from its recent lows, as indicated by the chart from TradingView.

In conjunction with Nikola’s announcement, First Hydrogen Corporation has revealed that its hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered vehicle (FCEV) achieved an impressive range of 630 km on a single refueling during a fleet trial with UK-based SSE Plc. First Hydrogen, a Vancouver and London-based company focusing on zero-emission vehicles, green hydrogen production, and supercritical CO2 extractor systems, conducted this trial with SSE, one of the UK’s largest energy infrastructure firms. The trial data indicates that the overall performance of the vehicles exceeded expectations, even when subjected to heavier payloads and higher speeds. Simon Gray, Head of Fleet Services at SSE, highlighted the trial’s importance in considering the integration of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles into their future fleets, stating that SSE is committed to exploring and deploying new technologies and innovations that can accelerate the journey to net zero.

These recent developments in the hydrogen market, particularly in FCEVs and hydrogen refueling infrastructure, suggest that 2023 may indeed be the year for green hydrogen. They also signify a significant step towards the hydrogen revolution, which is considered a critical component of achieving net-zero emissions.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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