Phoenix-based Nikola Corp. (Nasdaq: NKLA) said its hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) has crossed a key hurdle that allowed it to apply for eligibility with the state of California for its Tre FCEV to be authorized for voucher incentives in that state.
The company said it received a Zero Emission Powertrain (ZEP) executive order from the California Air Resources Board for the truck. That means that the vehicle meets the emissions standards required for zero-emission powertrains to be sold in California.
The executive order is also a prerequisite to be part of the state’s Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, which provides incentives to help reduce the total costs for advanced commercial vehicles in California. Nikola’s application is for a base incentive amount valued at $240,000 per FCEV truck.
“Obtaining this CARB Executive Order is an important step for Nikola to support the launch of the Tre FCEV in California, our first priority market for this zero-emission powertrain option, with full production deliveries expected to start in the second half of 2023,” Nikola President and CEO Michael Lohscheller said in a statement. “We expect that the funding available through HVIP will drive a competitive total cost of ownership for the Tre FCEV truck, powered by the hydrogen fuel supply and infrastructure we are developing, and serviced by our local dealer network.”
Nikola is already making plans to build a hydrogen production hub in Buckeye that is intended to support the deployment of Nikola’s Tre FCEV trucks and the hydrogen infrastructure that the company plans to build out to support a trucking network in California and the Southwest. The company quietly acquired the nearly 1,000-acre site for $16.5 million in September, and soon after that it confirmed that it planned to build a hydrogen production facility there.
Nikola has also applied for potentially $1.3 billion in federal loan money for the hub through the Innovative Clean Energy projects program with the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Program Office.
And earlier this month, the company signed a deal with hydrogen energy supplier Plug Power that includes a hydrogen liquefaction system to be used at the hub that will initially be capable of processing 30 metric-tons of hydrogen fuel per day.
Beyond the base incentive amount of $240,000 per truck, Nikola’s California HVIP application would provide for incentives of $270,000 per truck for drayage, or short-distance, fleets, or up to $288,000 per truck for fleets that meet certain conditions.
Other incentives of $40,000 in tax credits are also available in 2023 for the FCEVs through the federal government as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, Nikola said. Those federal incentives also apply to Nikola’s Tre battery-electric vehicles, which qualified for HVIP certification in California in January.
The automaker is currently producing battery electric vehicles and has produced several alpha prototypes of its hydrogen vehicles.
Nikola is building its vehicles at its new plant in Coolidge in Pinal County south of Phoenix. Click through the gallery below to see inside the factory.
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