|Nikola's energy unit to install hydrogen fueling stations at service centers|
Remember Nikola Corp.? Yes — THAT Nikola Corp., the electric truck startup based in Phoenix that was riddled with controversy last fall.
The company seems to be turning a new leaf by exploring opportunities in the hydrogen space — this time, in fueling.
Nikola's energy division, Nikola Energy, and TravelCenters of America Inc., known as TA-Petro, are installing hydrogen fueling stations for heavy-duty trucks at two TA-Petro sites in Southern California.
The two undisclosed sites will be operational by early 2023, the companies said last week.
The stations "will provide for an open fueling network available to any truck customer and will follow a common industry standard for heavy-duty fueling protocols," Nikola and TA-Petro said in a statement.
This means the stations will not operate like some proprietary electric vehicle chargers and will instead be compatible across hydrogen-powered truck manufacturers.
The partnership marks TA-Petro's first foray into the future of Class 7 and 8 trucks through its new eTA business unit, focusing on alternative fuel offerings.
"Our collaboration in Southern California will form a basis for building an expanded network of hydrogen fueling stations for Nikola vehicle customers and for industry use overall," Pablo Koziner, Nikola president of energy and commercial, said in the statement.
The stations will come ahead of production on Nikola's Tre, a 500-mile-range fuel-cell truck, which is expected to begin in the second half of 2023. Prototype builds of the truck are scheduled to begin in Arizona and Germany in the second quarter of this year.
– Alexa St. John