Nikola Corporation, a global leader in battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV), and energy solutions, has secured an additional $16.3 million grant to help fund its hydrogen fueling stations. This new grant brings Nikola’s total funding for hydrogen infrastructure to $58.2 million. Last month, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) awarded Nikola a $41.9 million grant under the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP) to build six heavy-duty hydrogen refueling stations across Southern California. These stations will support and scale up the growth of heavy-duty commercial hydrogen refueling needs.
Nikola has also announced a milestone of 202 sales orders for its Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks, reflecting a growing industry trend towards sustainable solutions. Meanwhile, in Canada, First Hydrogen has announced that the road test results of its FCEV are even better than expected, demonstrating the viability and sustainability of hydrogen energy.
As the world is in dire need of reducing carbon emissions, innovations for alternative energy sources are ramping up. Hydrogen is one of those alternatives, particularly in providing a cleaner option for the transportation industry. Hydrogen fuel can be 100% clean, depending on the process used to burn it. In a hydrogen fuel cell EV, hydrogen is burned with pure oxygen in specially made cells, with the only by-product being water. Projections indicate that the global hydrogen market will reach about $231 billion by 2030.
Regular EVs and FCEVs share many of the same advantages and disadvantages. Hydrogen-powered vehicles often have the same range as traditional gas-powered counterparts, and refueling a hydrogen vehicle is similar to filling up a car at a gas station. However, hydrogen refueling infrastructure remains limited and lags behind EV battery charging infrastructure.
Despite this, a few countries, including California, have made hydrogen energy a core part of their clean energy transition. Nikola is taking the lead in making hydrogen refueling easier and more widely available through its HYLA stations. The company has partnered with Voltera to develop up to 50 HYLA hydrogen stations in North America over the next five years. These grants are a key enabler for Nikola’s first-mover zero-emission hydrogen fleet and its HYLA fueling stations.
In addition to Nikola’s progress, First Hydrogen Corporation has revealed that its hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered vehicle (FCEV) achieved a range of 630 km on a single refueling during a fleet trial with UK-based SSE Plc. This Vancouver and London-based company focuses on zero-emission vehicles, green hydrogen production, and supercritical CO2 extractor systems. The trial results exceeded expectations, suggesting that FCEVs can handle heavier payloads and higher speeds without significantly reducing range or impacting fuel cell performance.
These recent developments in the hydrogen market, particularly in FCEVs and hydrogen refueling infrastructure, indicate that 2023 is shaping up to be the year for green hydrogen. They are also seen as a critical piece of the puzzle in achieving net-zero emissions.