Nikola wants to use mobile hydrogen stations to support its fuel-cell trucks.
The company on Wednesday that it had developed a trailer-mounted mobile fueling rig that can deliver hydrogen at 10,000 psi. It plans to display the rig publicly next week. The first unit “has completed commissioning and testing and has been released for market operation,” according to a Nikola press release.
Additional units are scheduled for completion later in the first quarter of this year, forming part of a “mobile fueler program” to supplement permanent hydrogen stations. This program will use a mix of Nikola-owned mobile hydrogen stations and some owned by third parties, according to the company.
Nikola previously said it plans 60 hydrogen stations by 2026, aided partly by government incentives, but this may help it get trucks out in the meantime and meet their needs. It’s looking for natural gas to power some fueling hubs and trucks.
This network will provide hydrogen for customers operating the Nikola Tre, a Class 8 fuel-cell semi truck with a claimed range of 500 miles, which Nikola plans to build at a new factory in Coolidge, Arizona. Per an agreement announced in 2021, those U.S.-assembled trucks will use fuel-cell components from Bosch. Nikola also has a joint venture with truck maker Iveco to assemble Tre semis at that firm’s Ulm, Germany, plant.
Nikola has refocused on fuel-cell commercial trucks recently after some mission creep under founder Trevor Milton, who was charged with securities fraud in 2021 for allegedly misleading investors. Milton pursued a pickup truck called the Badger and a partnership with General Motors, but Nikola has since walked back many of these projects.
- Could hydrogen fuel-cell tech replace aircraft jet engines?
- Hyundai N performance EV brand teases hydrogen fuel cell tech
- Honda sees a future for hydrogen fuel cell tech—in the CR-V
- Mobile hydrogen stations may support Hyperion fuel-cell supercar
- Natural gas may power Nikola hydrogen hubs, fuel-cell trucks