Nikola Motor Company is a Utah based company that wishes to bring its hydrogen fuel cell trucks to market within the next couple of years. Not even halfway through August and the company has already raised $100 million.
The $100 million is part of a $200 million C round of funding that ends this month that Nikola CEO Trevor Milton anticipates will be oversubscribed.
This funding will be used to bring their hydrogen powered semi trucks to market by 2021. In the press release Milton said the following:
“Nikola’s business model has been vetted, and the investment world is taking notice. So far this year we have kicked-off plans to build the largest hydrogen network in the world with NEL, secured a massive 800-truck order commitment from Anheuser-Busch, developed the most energy dense battery system on the market with almost 400 watt hours per liter, engineered a 240 kW fuel cell, kicked-off electric vehicle stability controls and electric ABS with WABCO, designed a thermo-management and HVAC system with MAHLE, finalized the most advanced class-8 independent suspension on the market with Meritor, relocated our company to Arizona to build our new 150,000 sq. ft. headquarters and now closed on $100,000,000”
These trucks will have a range of anywhere between 500 and 1,200 miles and will be able to be refilled within 20 minutes. Full production will be expected to begin in 2021.
To go along with this, one would need a hydrogen station infrastructure that would be sufficient enough. By 2028 Nikola is planning on having more than 700 hydrogen stations across the US and Canada. But by the start of production in 2021, there will only be 14 stations to start.
Now admittedly I have some complaints about using fuel cells instead of just using pure electric. Hydrogen fuel cells are not as efficient as pure electric cars and the infrastructure right now is lagging far behind. Look at the Toyota Mirai that I like to pick on so much. As of right now there are less than 40 hydrogen stations in the United States, and almost all of them are in California. Meaning you are localized to one area of the country, not something you would really want for semi-trucks that haul supplies for long distances.
There doesn’t seem to be any company rushing out to create a large hydrogen infrastructure as most major automakers are going towards full electric and supporting charging networks. I can’t say how many additional hydrogen stations will be built between now and the beginning of 2021, but I can almost guarantee there will be much less than the number of charging stations at that point.
Regardless, Nikola has an absolute huge 800 truck order with Anheuser-Busch and claim to have nearly $11 billion in pre-orders. So obviously companies are seeing a lot of promise in these trucks, and trucks themselves look nice and have good range, but the lack of infrastructure as of right now is a major problem in my opinion.
What do you guys think? Let us know down in the comments below.
Source: Nikola Motor