Despite recent setbacks, including a battery truck recall and stock plunge, electric truck manufacturer Nikola remains resolute in its plans to deliver hydrogen fuel cell tractor units to customers this year.
Nikola has faced challenges recently, with its stock dropping 61% after recalling its battery-powered big rigs due to potential fire risk. Despite this, the company asserts that it’s still on track to become the first manufacturer to deliver hydrogen fuel cell Class 8 tractor units to customers by the end of this year.
The recall, impacting all 209 Tre BEV trucks delivered in the past year, prompted CEO Steve Girsky to address the situation. He mentioned that a fix is underway, albeit without delving into details. Production of the Tre BEV model had already been temporarily halted due to unsold units and preparations to construct fuel cell vehicles on the same assembly line.
Girsky outlined the copany’s approach, stating, “We’ve started the process of pulling trucks back to get them worked on at Coolidge and then it’s about launching the Hydrogen truck.” Despite the challenges, he highlighted the alignment of the company’s long-term vision with its imminent plans for launching the hydrogen truck and establishing fueling stations.
Nikola’s trajectory largely relies on its capacity to scale up the production of environmentally friendly hydrogen trucks, capable of hauling loads for at least 500 miles between refills. To support this growth, the presence of hydrogen fuel stations becomes paramount. Addressing this, Nikola secured approximately $42 million from the California Transportation Commission in July to establish six heavy-duty hydrogen stations in collaboration with Voltera. However, these stations will take several years to become operational and to cater to the initial needs of its hydrogen trucks headed to California, the company will employ mobile fueling units that can service up to 30 trucks daily.