Nikola Corp.’s objective of building and fueling pollution-free fuel cell electrical trucks is getting a boost from a brand-new partnership with oil and gas giant TC Energy– the business behind the now-canceled Keystone XL pipeline job– to set up massive hubs to produce hydrogen.
Nikola and TC Energy, headquartered in Calgary, inform Forbes they prepare to collectively develop, construct and run high-volume hydrogen production facilities over the next five years that will have considerably more capacity than Nikola’s very first stations. At first, the Phoenix-based business will run hydrogen stations that make up to 8 lots of the clean fuel daily. The task with TC Energy will lead to centers producing 150 loads or more per day, both for trucks and for the Canadian company’s energy customers.
The collaboration doesn’t include financial investment in Nikola by TC Energy and the business aren’t yet stating just how much each future of their hydrogen refineries will cost. They’ll use various base materials to make the fuel depending on local market conditions, including renewable energy, biomass and gas– and sequestering by-product carbon dioxide when needed.
” We see the opportunity to partner with Nikola (as a way) to identify and expand our customer base, using the facilities and skill sets that we have, to offer that foundation infrastructure that will be required as the hydrogen economy grows over the coming years,” states Corey Hessen, TC Energy’s senior vice president and president of the business’s power and storage division. “We’re a company that’s embedded in the energy service, irrespective of what innovation is being used. Hydrogen is simply another product that we can provide to them.”
The alliance is the most recent in a string of partnerships Nikola has actually revealed in recent months as it works to get rid of founder Trevor Milton’s legal issues and remain on track with strategies to construct and offer sturdy battery- and hydrogen-powered trucks. Last month Nikola said it would establish hydrogen stations with OPAL Fuels, a provider of renewable gas; in June it purchased a $50 million stake in an Indiana hydrogen plant, following plans announced in April for a hydrogen pipeline alliance in Europe with business vehicle maker IVECO and gas distributor OGE and news that it meant to develop hydrogen fuel stations with truck stop powerhouse TravelCenters of America.
In late 2020, the company also protected a deal to purchase low-cost surplus electricity from Arizona’s energy authority that it will use to make hydrogen through electrolysis of water with absolutely no carbon pollution.
The TC Energy tie-up will be impactful as Nikola’s production scales up in the next few years, says Pablo Koziner, president of the business’s energy and industrial organization.
” We have services for early-day, lower-volume production of trucks and how we support those with hydrogen. We remain in a rush to build up centers in locations where we expect high volume,” significantly in the Southwest in California and Arizona, he stated. “However there are other locations, too. There are other parts of the nation, and the Canadian market is– the Canadian federal government is– really progressive. We’re seeing opportunities there. It’s actually a concern of coordination and prioritization. That’s the kind of work that we’re delighted to do with TC energy.”
Ahead of providing fuel cell trucks to business fleet customers, Nikola aims to deliver initial units of its battery-powered Tre semi late this year. Production of the first models is getting under method in Ulm, Germany, at a plant operated by its partner Iveco, a commercial car maker. Production of battery-powered Tres also starts next year at Nikola’s plant in Coolidge, Arizona. A fuel cell version of the Tre is to be built in Coolidge from 2023 and a bigger, longer-range Nikola 2 semi enters into production at the plant in2024 Nikola’s business strategy is to rent fuel cell cars to customers consisting of Anheuser-Busch– and offer all the hydrogen fuel they’ll require.
The 8-ton hydrogen production and distribution facilities Nikola has said it will begin with are to offer fuel for as much as 200 trucks each day. By contrast, the 150- ton (150,000 kg) centers it envisions building with TC Energy could supply adequate fuel for thousands of trucks daily.
” We have actually set out a target to recognize opportunities within the next five years,” Koziner said. “We have certainly started to look at the locations that we believe will be the greatest demand for hydrogen in all respects, but definitely paying a lot of attention to density of commercial traffic.”
Nikola is far from alone in pushing hydrogen to power sturdy automobiles.
Fuel cells have remained in use given that the 1960 s, notably with NASA spacecraft. Instead of saving electrical power as batteries do, they make it as needed in an electrochemical process including hydrogen and oxygen that gives off just water as a spin-off.
” Our clients are telling us that they want services that likewise consist of non-carbon-emitting generation.”
While Nikola’s image has actually been hammered by Milton’s indictment by the DOJ for making false declarations about the business in public appearances and on social networks that deceived financiers about its innovation (charges that he denies), TC Energy’s pivot to hydrogen can be found in the after-effects of ending work on its questionable Keystone XL pipeline after the Biden Administration blocked it.
” For everybody in the (energy) industry, we are hearing what our clients are informing us. Our customers are telling us that they desire options that likewise include non-carbon-emitting generation,” Hessen said. “It’s coming, and I believe you’re going to feel a growing number of effort from our industry.”
Nikola shares rose 4.5%to $1067 in Nasdaq trading on Thursday, while TC Energy increased 1.2%to $4916 in New York City.