Hydrogen mobile refuelers part of Nikola’s FCEV refueling strategy
22 February 2023
In January, Nikola Corp., a global supplier of zero-emission transportation and energy supply and infrastructure solutions, announced the development of a heavy-duty, 10,000-psi (700 bar) hydrogen mobile refueler that is said is capable of direct fueling of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). It will be part of a program that includes Nikola’s own mobile refuelers as well as those from third parties to provide customers with a variety of fueling options.
“Nikola has spent the greater part of two years developing a flexible mobile fueling solution which cools and compresses hydrogen to rapidly fill 700 bar FCEV heavy-duty trucks,” said Michael Lohscheller, Nikola’s President and CEO. “Coupled with Nikola’s hydrogen tube trailer, with a capacity of 960 kg, Nikola’s mobile fueler can refuel customer trucks back-to-back.”
The company’s first hydrogen mobile fueler has completed commissioning and testing and has been released for market operation. Additional mobile fuelers are being commissioned in Q1 2023.
“This will deliver flexible hydrogen fueling solutions for our customers starting in 2023,” Lohscheller said, “and will complement Nikola’s permanent hydrogen fueling stations which are being developed.”
The mobile refuelers will serve as an integral part of the company’s customer service in the early years of FCEVs by delivering hydrogen at locations that meet customer needs. Along with Nikola’s previously announced goal of a portfolio of 60 hydrogen supply and permanent heavy-duty stations by 2026, “these flexible mobile fuelers will ensure that our customers have complete coverage for their fueling needs,” said Carey Mendes, president of Energy at Nikola.
The current mobile operations will eventually function as a back up to permanent infrastructure or operate as additional service support in the field, the company noted.
The company recently announced it had received a California Air Resources Board (CARB) Zero-Emission Powertrain Executive Order – a requirement for the Nikola Tre FCEV to be eligible for CARB’s Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) program, which provides substantial purchase incentives for approved FCEV purchases. Purchases in 2023 also qualify for a $40,000 clean commercial vehicle tax credit under the federal government’s Inflation Reduction Act.