Typically when we talk about green vehicles, we’re talking about electric cars and trucks. One of the alternatives to using batteries for emissions-free driving is hydrogen fuel cells. When the biggest challenge for hydrogen moving forward is the lack of hydrogen fueling infrastructure in most of the country and around the world. A company called Nikola builds semi-trucks that run on hydrogen.
While developing the technology for the vehicles themselves is a big challenge, a significant roadblock to sales and getting the hydrogen-powered vehicles on the roads is a hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Nikola and TC Energy have announced they have signed a joint development agreement to codevelop large-scale clean hydrogen hubs.
Development of the hydrogen production hubs will support the projected hydrogen fuel supply needs for the Nikola fleet of heavy-duty fuel cell electric vehicles. The infrastructure will also serve the TC Energy customer needs in North America. The two companies want to establish hubs capable of producing 150 tons or more of hydrogen each day near highly trafficked trucking corridors.
Nikola proceeds significant demand for hydrogen fuel to operate its Class 8 FCEVs within the next five years. TC Energy has a significant pipeline, storage, and power assets in place that can be leveraged to help reduce the cost of hydrogen and increase how quickly the hydrogen can be delivered. The agreement includes commitments for producing the carbon intensity of hydrogen production and delivery.
It will leverage low-cost natural gas, renewable natural class, and biomass feedstocks along with carbon capture and storage technologies. There is no clear indication of how many hydrogen production hubs will be built under this agreement or when the first will be ready to begin production. The companies do have a stated goal of achieving a net-zero carbon intensity over time.