Nikola Motors, the startup developing a Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell range-extended electric truck (earlier post) has hired Jesse Schneider as vice president of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. A noted hydrogen and fuel cell expert, Schneider is an automotive industry veteran who spent most of his career working for BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Schneider has spent nearly 20 years in vehicle electrification, fuel cells, electric and hydrogen infrastructure and storage tanks at automakers in Germany, the United States and China. He led a number of firsts related to fuel cell durability, hydrogen tanks and wireless charging.
Schneider also organized the worldwide standardization for electric and fuel cell vehicle infrastructure. He served as the chair of Hydrogen Fueling Standards and Specifications at SAE (J2601/2799) and ISO (TS 19880-1) and most recently, wireless charging at SAE (J2954).
At Nikola, Schneider will spearhead efforts with the Fuel Cell R&D Division working with Bosch in Germany (earlier post) and the hydrogen fueling technology team for the Nikola stations with NEL Hydrogen in Norway. He will also lead the development of the Nikola R&D Center in Phoenix.
As we prepare for production testing, durability and manufacturing, it was necessary to hire one of the top fuel cell pioneers in the world. Jesse will be a great asset to our team. We are excited to introduce industry veterans into our company structure to help prepare for the manufacturing rollout. Mr. Schneider will be a huge asset to Nikola and is welcomed to the Nikola family.—Trevor Milton, CEO, Nikola Motor Company
Earlier this month, Nel ASA received an additional $5.5-million purchase order from Nikola related to the electrolyzer and fueling solution for Nikola prototype trucks. On 15 November 2017, Nikola and Nel announced the exclusive partnership and a purchase order for two demo hydrogen refueling stations for Nikola’s trucks.
The partnership aims at developing low-cost, renewable hydrogen production and fueling sites for the potential development of 14 large-scale sites. Nikola and Nel are now evaluating if the initial station number should be doubled to 28 stations.
The additional purchase order brings the total value for the demo stations to approximately $9 million, with delivery in the second half of 2018 and into 2019.
Nikola Motor Co. is completing a 150,000 square-foot R&D facility in Phoenix where the company will relocate by 1 August 2018. Once in Arizona, the company intends to begin development on the one million square-foot assembly plant in Buckeye, a Phoenix suburb.
The project will result in $1 billion in capital investment in the area by 2024, plus 2,000 workers hired to manufacture zero-emission hydrogen-electric semi-trucks.