Nikola inks deal to support hydrogen fueling infrastructure rollout


Nikola Motor Company has signed a deal with Norway-based dedicated hydrogen company Nel ASA for delivery of 448 electrolyzers and associated fueling equipment, which will be used to support Nikola’s development of a hydrogen station infrastructure in the U.S.

Late last year, the two companies announced an exclusive partnership aimed at developing low-cost, renewable hydrogen production and fueling sites as part of a nationwide network of hydrogen stations. The rollout is expected to begin in 2020.

“Nel’s electrolyzers are efficient and reliable, making them a natural backbone for our station infrastructure,” Nikola CEO Trevor Milton says, adding the first two stations will be installed in Arizona and California depending on permit timelines.

The next 28 stations will be installed on each route outside of Anheuser-Busch’s breweries or their distribution centers. Anheuser-Busch, the largest beer manufacturer in the U.S., placed an order for up to 800 hydrogen-electric tractors, in May.

“Each station will produce 700 bar and will be compatible with class 8 trucks and consumer cars,” Milton says. “This is an incredibly exciting time and we have now contractually set in motion the largest network of hydrogen in the world.”

Under the contract, Nel will develop a station design, including electrolyzers, specifically for fast fueling Nikola trucks. The companies will work together to finalize the detailed station design and other technology elements to be deployed for the commercial stations. Nikola has already placed an initial order of more than $9 million for two demo-stations for which delivery will commence towards the end of 2018.