Nikola, TA-Petro plan to open nation’s first hydrogen fueling stations for heavy-duty trucks

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Nikola Tre Class 8 Truck web 1
Nikola Corp. and TravelCenters of America plan to open the nation’s first two hydrogen fueling stations for heavy-duty trucks at existing TA-Petro locations in California. (Courtesy: Nikola Corp.)

PHOENIX — Nikola Corp.’s energy division and TravelCenters of America (TA) have agreed to collaborate on the installation of hydrogen fueling stations for heavy-duty trucks at two existing TA-Petro sites, the companies announced April 22. This collaboration is a first step to explore the mutual development of a nationwide network of hydrogen fueling stations.

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The first two stations will be constructed at existing TA-Petro locations in California and are targeted to be commercially operational by the first quarter of 2023. These stations are expected to accelerate adoption of hydrogen fuel-cell-powered commercial electric trucks. Paired with the expected 500-mile range of the previously announced Nikola Tre fuel-cell electric vehicle, the launch stations will enable operations of zero-emission heavy-duty commercial vehicles in and around the greater Los Angeles region and north through California’s Central Valley.

“Today we announce an important advancement in enabling the growth of heavy-duty fuel-cell electric vehicles by partnering with a leader in commercial fueling sites and high quality customer services,” said Pablo Koziner, president of Nikola’s energy and commercial division. “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. This collaboration forms an essential part in delivering the hydrogen-based ecosystem required to advance zero emission solutions for commercial trucks.”

The two hydrogen fueling stations under consideration for development by Nikola and TA-Petro will provide for an open fueling network available to any truck customer and will follow a common industry standard for heavy-duty fueling protocols, ensuring compatibility across all hydrogen fuel-cell truck manufacturers.

“This exploration into hydrogen supply expands on our commitment to provide customers the widest range of fuel and nonfuel offerings, and on our mission to ‘return every traveler to the road better than they came,’” said Jon Pertchik, CEO of TA-Petro. “Through our new business unit, eTA, we are positioning ourselves to facilitate the transportation industry’s shift toward alternative fuel offerings including hydrogen, a leading form of energy for Class 7 and 8 vehicles. We are excited about this first foray into the future of heavy duty, long-haul trucks and look forward to supporting our loyal fleet customers as they increasingly adopt decarbonization strategies.”

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