Nikola has received a grant from the California Transportation Commission to construct hydrogen fueling stations for hydrogen-powered semis. 


The $41.9 million grant will facilitate the building of six heavy-duty hydrogen stations under the HYLA brand, a joint initiative by Nikola and Voltera. These stations, set to be located near major freight corridors in Southern California, are expected to open as early as late this year.

The funding announcement comes as a significant boost for Nikola, which has been actively seeking capital to support its zero-emission truck business. In recent months, the company has implemented cost-cutting measures and is planning to raise additional funds through share issuance. The grant will help expedite the deployment of hydrogen refueling infrastructure, which is crucial for Nikola’s upcoming launch of hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in July, according to Carey Mendes, President of Nikola Energy.

The California grant will cover approximately half of the total construction cost for the six stations, while Nikola and Voltera will contribute to the remaining portion. These stations are designed to refuel up to 100 trucks per day, with the first ones expected to open later this year and early in 2024. Nikola aims to establish a network of 50 HYLA stations in collaboration with Voltera by 2028.

Nikola’s battery-powered Tre trucks, already in production, offer a range of around 300 miles per charge. The hydrogen fuel cell version, on the other hand, will have an extended range of approximately 500 miles per fueling. Nikola, along with industry giants such as Daimler, Volvo, Toyota, and Hyundai, views hydrogen as a promising alternative to battery-powered electric trucks due to its lighter weight and faster refueling capabilities.

Currently, there is a lack of public hydrogen fueling stations in the United States capable of accommodating semi-trucks. However, California already has over 50 hydrogen stations catering to passenger vehicles like the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai NEXO.