Nikola Launches Hyla Brand for Hydrogen Fuel

Nikola Corp.

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Nikola Corp. is launching updated branding for its hydrogen production, distribution and sales efforts, sharpening its focus on a segment integral to a company footprint that also includes production of fuel cell electric trucks and development of electric vehicle technology.

The company’s new Hyla brand — which fuses the first two letters of hydrogen and the last two from Nikola — was unveiled at a Jan. 25 event at the company’s Phoenix headquarters, and represents Nikola’s efforts to, “secure supplies of clean hydrogen and then to distribute it to our customers at very competitive prices,” said Nikola Energy president Carey Mendes. Nikola Energy is the business unit focused on hydrogen and electric development. The Hyla brand falls under its purview. Nikola Motor Corp. produces Nikola Tre hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks.

Under the Hyla brand, Nikola is developing access of up to 300 metric-tons per day of hydrogen. Supplies are expected to be supported by previously announced projects under development. They include the Phoenix Hydrogen Hub in Buckeye, Ariz., which will produce up to 150 metric TPD, and agreements with Latham, N.Y.-based Plug Power (125 metric TPD); Wabash Valley Resources from Terre Haute, Ind., (50 metric TPD); KeyState Natural Gas Synthesis from Clifton County, Pa., (100 metric TPD) and TC Energy Corp. of Alberta, Canada (60 metric TPD).

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Mendes said build-out of hydrogen production is expected to unfold in phases to scale with demand. Initial output will be set at 30,000 kilograms, enough to fuel up to 750 trucks per day. From there the hub will expand over a few years to eventual output of 150,000 kilograms of hydrogen, which can fuel 3,500 trucks per day. Mendes described hydrogen as “a game-changing energy source that we know is going to be the cornerstone in helping to decarbonize the transportation sector.”

Nikola intends to establish 60 hydrogen stations by 2026, starting in California with one near the Port of Long Beach. The company noted that Hyla will provide energy for its own trucks as well as fuel cell trucks made by other companies.

Plans also call for a mobile hydrogen fueling trailer that can bring fuel directly to trucks. Per the company, the mobile fueler cools and compresses hydrogen to rapidly fill FCEV heavy-duty trucks. Coupled with a hydrogen tube trailer, the mobile fueler can refuel customer trucks back-to-back.

The first mobile fueler has completed commissioning and testing and has been released for market operation. Nikola has additional hydrogen mobile fuelers being commissioned in the first quarter of this year, it said.

Nikola said the mobile fueler program includes its own mobile fuelers as well as a number of third party mobile fuelers.

In that spirit, Nikola CEO Michael Lohscheller reaffirmed the company’s desire to form key strategic partnerships across all of its businesses. “We will continue to seek partners that share our vision knowing we can lead but also knowing that we can’t do it all on our own,” he said. Lohscheller added that the ongoing rollout of the Nikola Tre and development of the mobile fueler, “demonstrates a real and sustainable competitive advantage for our customers and are significant proof points that we are accomplishing what we set out to achieve.” The Nikola Tre has a range up to 500 miles and a 20-minute refueling time.

Lohscheller emphasized that Nikola in the year ahead is focused on propelling its progress. “The reality is we are hitting our stride and the results are tangible products that will transform our entire world,” he said.

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