Nikola and FirstElement Fuel Forge 10-Year Strategic Partnership to Advance Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure




Nikola and FirstElement Fuel Forge 10-Year Strategic Partnership to Advance Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure.


 Nikola Corporation (Nasdaq: NKLA), a global leader in zero-emissions transportation and energy supply and infrastructure solutions, via the HYLA brand, and FirstElement Fuel (FEF), a world leader in hydrogen refueling station solutions, have formalized a definitive 10-year agreement to refuel Nikola’s hydrogen fuel cell electric truck at FEF’s hydrogen refueling station in Oakland, Calif. This collaboration unifies their commitment to driving the widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and marks a significant step towards a greener and more sustainable tomorrow.


Under this strategic partnership, FEF is appointed as an authorized Nikola Fueling Solutions Partner. This collaboration enables Nikola customers to access fueling services at the new FEF multi-use heavy-duty truck station situated strategically near the port in Oakland, Calif. The station, which uses FEF’s proprietary design, anticipates a fueling capacity of approximately 200 trucks per day, and will boast the world’s first heavy-duty truck H70 fast-fill lane for efficient hydrogen refueling. The station received funding from the California Energy Commission under the NorCal Zero Project. This agreement aligns seamlessly with Nikola’s initial truck launch strategy, concentrating on the deployment of its zero-emissions trucks in areas adjacent to Maritime Ports throughout Calif. and serves as the first of many partner stations to come.


Joe Cappello, Nikola President of Energy, said:


FirstElement is a recognized leader in hydrogen vehicle fueling in California, and the Nikola team is inspired by the immense possibilities created by this agreement.


“Our customers now have access to fuel at FEF’s first heavy-duty site in Oakland, California. With additional stations planned, this signifies a powerful synergy between Nikola and FEF, driving us towards a shared vision of a future with cleaner and more sustainable solutions.”


The Oakland station’s fast-fill lane is a prime example of the synergies between Nikola’s advanced truck technology as well as FEF’s station capabilities and demonstrates Nikola’s commitment to enabling the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in Northern Calif. Nikola plans to utilize several paths to achieve a network of up to 60 stations in the coming years, including mobile and permanent HYLA branded stations, customer-owned stations, and new and established public truck stops via Nikola’s fueling station partner network. Two fueling solutions locations are slated by the end of 2023 — one HYLA branded fueling station in Ontario, Calif. and the FEF Oakland location. Several additional fueling solutions locations are planned by the close of Q2 2024.


Nikola’s broader strategy involves working with industry-leading partners to ensure a robust hydrogen supply chain, transport logistics, storage solutions, and dispensing locations. As Nikola previously announced, enough energy offtake has been secured to support customer operations through the beginning of 2024. The team is actively working to secure additional hydrogen offtake for future sales while continuing to develop the refueling ecosystem.


Joel Ewanick, Founder and Executive Chairman of FEF, said:


This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to transform the transportation industry and we are proud to play a role in powering Nikola’s innovative hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks.


“We are confident the synergy between our shared expertise and vision will help to reshape the landscape of clean and sustainable transportation, driving towards a future powered by hydrogen.”


California leads the charge in reducing carbon emissions, especially in high-traffic ports, with Nikola’s Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric truck playing a crucial role in advancing these initiatives. This station and partnership underscore Nikola and FEF’s commitment to meeting state and federal zero-emission goals. The deployment of refueling infrastructure is pivotal to the energy transition, and the strategic placement of the FEF station in Oakland marks a significant milestone in this joint mission.


FEF is in the process of installing a number of hydrogen refueling stations capable of fast-filling for Class 8 trucks. This strategic initiative with Nikola will enable an acceleration of FEF’s commitment to building hydrogen infrastructure to serve transportation hubs in areas where clean solutions are imperative.


Nikola plans to develop a series of new hydrogen fueling locations under the brand name HYLA throughout Southern Calif. in the coming months followed by Northern Calif. to support the recent launch of the Nikola hydrogen fuel cell electric truck.  Supplementing these stations will be a network of hydrogen fueling solution partners that will create additional hydrogen fueling opportunities for Nikola customers. The combination of these hydrogen fueling options will help facilitate the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks and the decarbonization of transportation.



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