Speaking at a company event Wednesday, CEO Michael Lohscheller also presented the final production version of the Nikola Tre fuel-cell electric vehicle, which will hit the market this year. The truck has an expected range of 500 miles with an estimated fueling time of less than 20 minutes, Lohscheller said.
In order to fuel Nikola's hydrogen fuel-cell electric trucks, the company and partners needed to find a way to develop the necessary hydrogen supplies and infrastructure to support the demand, President Carey Mendes said, which is where HYLA comes in.
"We set out to build the world's first Class 8 hydrogen truck; we recognize that that wasn't good enough," Mendes said. "In order for that truck to be successful, we would have to consider both the chicken and the egg."
HYLA's mission is to secure supplies of clean hydrogen to distribute it to customers at competitive prices, Mendes said. Nikola has integrated a hydrogen fuel-cell truck and the full hydrogen energy infrastructure supply chain under one roof, Lohscheller said.
Nikola aims to develop access to up to 300 metric tons per day of hydrogen by 2026. That will begin at a fuel depot in Arizona, Mendes said.
The first-phase construction of the Phoenix Hydrogen Hub, located in Buckeye, Ariz., will be completed in late 2024. The hub will start with 30 metric tons of hydrogen in the first phase, with up to 150 metric tons per day in future phases.
The company also plans to have 60 hydrogen stations in place by 2026, the first of which will be located in California.
Nikola said HYLA's mobile fueling station for hydrogen fuel-cell trucks is innovative, as it adds fueling options for consumers. It plans to launch additional hydrogen mobile fuelers in the first quarter of 2023.
Earlier this week, Nikola said it will work with Fortescue Future Industries, a green hydrogen-producing energy company, to co-develop large-scale U.S. green hydrogen production facilities.
Nikola will examine other opportunities to sell more of Fortescue's green hydrogen projects in the future as part of its effort to de-carbonize the transportation sector.
"This (memorandum of understanding) will establish the framework for future collaborations as strategic partners for the potential co-development of meaningful energy transition solutions, with a focus on the Phoenix Hydrogen Hub project being led by Nikola today," Lohscheller said in a statement.
Nikola also announced Wednesday Biagi Bros. Inc. will take delivery of 15 Nikola Tre hydrogen fuel-cell electric trucks in Ontario, Calif., in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The trucks will contribute to Biagi Bros.'s effort to transition to a zero-emission fleet.
Nikola's fuel-cell truck is eligible for California's Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project program. If approved, purchasers of the Tre FCEV could qualify for various California state-based incentives.
Tre FCEV purchasers would also qualify for an additional $40,000 clean commercial vehicle tax credit in 2023 from the federal government, following the Inflation Reduction Act's passage last year.