Nikola receives $1.7M grant from US Department of Energy for fuel cell research



Nikola Motors was awarded from the US Department of Energy using a $1.7 million grant that will assist the startup advance its research into fuel cell membrane electrode assembly (MEA) technology.  The grant comes beneath the Tesla Semi rival’s ongoing efforts to develop hydrogen technology for industrial trucking. 

In a press release, Jesse Schneider, Nikola’s executive vice president of Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Technologies, stated that the Department of Energy’s ban would allow the aspiring truck accelerate the growth of hydrogen technology for its vehicles, which the company believes could potentially disrupt the profitable trucking marketplace. 

“This award gives an chance for the highly talented Nikola staff to leverage experience in academia and exceptional sources over the DOE Fuel Cell Consortium for Performance and Durability to hasten a breakthrough that can benefit the entire hydrogen and fuel cell business and community,” Schneider stated. 

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Nikola’s award was awarded from the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Transportation Office, as a part of the recently declared FY19 Commercial Trucks and Off-Road Applications FOA. NEL Hydrogen of Oslo, Nikola’s hydrogen partner, was also given a $2 million award from the DoE. 

The trucking startup’s fuel cell membrane electrode assembly (MEA) study is directed at developing an architecture that may satisfy the power output needs and durability needs of heavy-duty software, such as the operations of this company’s long-haul vehicles such as the Nikola One. The truckmaker noted in its press release that its study is being conducted alongside academics from Carnegie Mellon University, Northeastern University, and Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Nikola asserts that it now has 14,000 orders because of its Class 8 trucks. The vehicles are expected to be produced at a factory at Coolidge, AZ.. Testing is expected to begin on Arizona streets this year, with complete production to commence in 2022. Nikola is to show if its initial production runs will probably involve the first Nikola One sleeper automobile, or even the bigger, newer Nikola Two daycab, that was formally unveiled last April. 

This timeframe would likely result in Nikola’s electric trucks entering the market later compared to Tesla Semi, that is undergoing extensive testing on several states across the US. Generation of this Tesla Semi is anticipated to begin sometime next year, as noted by the electric automobile maker’s executives at the company’s first-quarter earnings forecast.

The post Nikola receives $1.7M grant from US Department of Energy for fuel cell research appeared first on TESLARATI.

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