1. Home
  2. Business & Finance
  3. Nikola to sell up to 75 hydrogen-powered trucks to Plug Power – EQ Mag
Nikola to sell up to 75 hydrogen-powered trucks to Plug Power – EQ Mag

Nikola to sell up to 75 hydrogen-powered trucks to Plug Power – EQ Mag


Electric truckmaker Nikola and Plug Power, a fuel cell maker aiming to become the top U.S. supplier of hydrogen made from water and renewable power, say they’ve formed a supply partnership to accelerate the use of green hydrogen and that includes Plug purchasing Nikola’s fuel cell semi-trucks.

Under the terms of their agreement, Plug will supply Nikola with up to 125 tons per day of green hydrogen and also sell it equipment to convert 30 tons of hydrogen gas per day into a liquified form at a hydrogen production facility Nikola is building in Arizona. Latham, New York-based Plug also plans to purchase 75 of Nikola’s hydrogen-powered trucks over the next three years that will be used to haul tankers loaded with the carbon-free fuel.

The companies didn’t provide financial details of the deal.

The arrangement appears to be beneficial to both companies, which want to increase the use of green hydrogen—derived from renewable, carbon-free sources rather than natural gas—for transportation, stationary power generation and industrial applications. Under CEO Andy Marsh, Plug is building hydrogen refineries across the U.S. that will be able to produce 500 tons per day by 2025 and double that volume by 2028. Phoenix-based Nikola, which sells battery-powered semis built at its factory in Coolidge, Arizona, says it will start producing hydrogen fuel cell trucks there late next year.

“Nikola and Plug share a common vision for sustainable, efficient energy solutions which supports our commitment to decarbonize the transportation industry,” Carey Mendes, president of Nikola’s energy unit, said in an emailed statement. The partnership with Plug “will help underpin Nikola’s ambitious growth plans to expand the hydrogen energy business and to support the adoption of Nikola’s zero-emission Class 8 trucks.”

Both companies expect to benefit from incentives for hydrogen created with the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law this year by President Joe Biden. Among other things, it includes a production tax credit for clean hydrogen that provides up to $3 per kilogram of the fuel, which helps to make it more competitive with diesel.

Though hydrogen is a less energy-efficient option for powering a vehicle compared with charging up a battery, Nikola and other companies that are developing hydrogen trucks say it’s a more practical option for long-haul heavy trucks. That’s because a fuel cell power system is not as heavy as the massive batteries required for big rigs and it can be refueled in about the same amount of time as a diesel truck. For example, while Nikola’s Tre battery-electric semi can haul cargo up to 330 miles, the fuel cell version is designed to go up to 500 miles per fueling.

The latter may turn out to be crucial issues as the practicality of electric trucks like Tesla’s new Semi remain unproven. This month, Elon Musk showed off the first production versions, purchased by Frito-Lay, without disclosing how much the trucks cost as well as their weight and hauling capability relative to diesel-powered semis. One observer estimated that, based on the video Tesla shared of its Semis in action, they may only be able to carry about half as much cargo as a conventional truck.

The news didn’t help shares of either company amid a broad market selloff on Thursday. Plug fell 5.2% to close at $14.42 in Nasdaq trading while Nikola rose less than 1% to $2.13.

Source: PTI
Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network