Nikola Corporation has begun commercial serial truck production of the Nikola Tre BEV (battery-electric vehicle); initial customer shipments have begun. Next year, fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) are planned to be added to the manufacturing mix, said Mark Russell, Nikola’s CEO.
Phase 1 of the Coolidge, Arizona manufacturing facility provides Nikola with a production capacity of 2,500 trucks. Construction of the Phase 2 assembly expansion area has begun and is expected to be completed in 2023 with a production capacity of up to 20,000-trucks per year on two shifts.
Nikola delivered the first two Nikola Tre BEVs to TTSI in December. In January 2022, Nikola began FCEV pilot operations with Anheuser-Busch. Two Nikola Tre FCEV alphas are undergoing a pilot in daily service within the brewer’s Southern California distribution network.
Nikola’s Ulm, Germany manufacturing facility on IVECO’s industrial complex is also complete. The facility is capable of a production capacity of 2,000 trucks per year and is expandable up to 10,000 trucks per year.
Alberta hydrogen hub. Separately, Canada-based Nikola partner TC Energy Corporation, is eyeing Crossfield, Alberta as the site for a hydrogen production hub. TC Energy operates a natural gas storage facility on the 140-acre site.
Nikola will be the hub’s anchor customer for its long-haul fuel cell electric vehicles. The southern portion of Alberta is a key transportation corridor for long-haul trucks. TC Energy and Nikola previously announced a joint development agreement with the aim to locate and build hydrogen production hubs in North America.
The proposed hub would produce an estimated 60 tonnes of hydrogen per day, with the capacity to increase to 150 tonnes per day in the future. To produce hydrogen, natural gas is reacted in a chemical plant to separate hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The CO2 generated during this process is then captured and sequestered, lowering the emissions to meet clean-energy standards (blue hydrogen).
TC Energy’s Crossfield Gas Storage facility, 50 km (31 miles) north of Calgary, holds 68 billion cubic feet of natural gas.