Nikola barrels forward with hydrogen fueling stations networkJanuary 31, 2024
The fuel cell truck maker is taking leaps ahead on building out the necessary refueling infrastructure.
Nikola stocks saw some positive movement upon the announcement of the speed at which it is building its network of hydrogen fueling stations for refueling its Class 8 Tre fuel cell trucks.
The company’s refueling center in Ontario, California has been servicing its demonstrator fleet.
Nikola started its hydrogen fueling stations with a facility in Ontario, California, which services not only the demonstrator fleet units, but also customers’ trucks. Last December, the company signed with FirstElement Fuel in a deal for the refueling of the Tre trucks at an Oakland location.
The Ontario, California location has a daily refueling capacity of 25 trucks. It takes about 20 minutes for trucks to fully refuel, according to the company’s own data. This is a much higher capacity than the facility had initially boasted, as it expanded to keep up with the ongoing use of the demonstration fleet in combination with servicing customer vehicles.
The company is now moving forward in building out its hydrogen fueling stations more broadly.
“Because we’re in full production, we’re utilizing and we’ve expanded the Ontario facility to accommodate the continuation of demos, but also to accommodate customer fueling … now that they own the trucks and have put them into service,” said Joseph Cappello, Nikola’s Energy President in a recent media report. “We’ve been utilizing [Ontario] mainly …. for potential customers to demo the truck. They would come in during their demo process, and that’s what it was predominantly used for.”
Nikola now predicts that it will have seven hydrogen fueling stations locations operating within the first half of 2024. Its goal is to open as many as 60 facilities in the United States in the near term.
Modular refueling facilities
“The goal is to use the modular stations as a mechanism to build up demand in markets where customers need the fueling and then over time be able to have permanent stations be built or existing truck stop stations add hydrogen refueling at their locations,” said Cappello about the rollout of hydrogen fueling stations.
“We’re trying to create incentives and de-risk, if you will, and accelerate the investments to make heavy-duty stations more possible.”
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