Sun Apr 21, 2019, 10:20 PM

The hydrogen fuel strategy behind Nikola's truck dream: Water electrolysis, not methane reformation

The hydrogen fuel strategy behind Nikola’s truck dream

Water electrolysis, not methane reformation, will drive heavy-duty refueling plan.

ArsTechnica | Megan Guess | 4/20/19

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona—The Nikola Motor Company wants to reinvent trucking by replacing diesel heavy-duty trucks with hydrogen fuel cell trucks. But hydrogen skeptics are numerous, and not without good reason. Although hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are quiet, emissions-free (with the exception of water) during operation, and relatively fast-charging compared to battery electric vehicles, they have a host of other problems.



Another major concern around hydrogen fuel is the cost. Currently, Nikola intends to sell its trucks with heavy-duty fuel contracts in place so that fuel is less of an unknown for potential buyers. But at Wednesday's presentation, Schneider and Løkke gave a little more insight into this. They said that if Nikola and Nel could procure electricity for less than $0.04 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), out-of-contract customers could buy hydrogen from their stations for a little less than $6 per kilogram.

Speaking to Ars after his presentation, Schneider added, "four cents a kilowatt-hour is not a pipe dream. You can get that here in Arizona at scale. On the Northeast coast, Niagara Falls has a huge grid over there that we hope to utilize."

Currently, the California Fuel Cell Partnership says that "hydrogen fuel prices range from $12.85 to more than $16 per kilogram," with the most common price being $14/kg or what is "equivalent on a price per energy basis to $5.60 per gallon of gasoline." If Nikola can cut that price in half, it could come close to being competitive with gas and diesel. Unfortunately, Nikola's numbers are theoretical at this point, so we'll have to wait to see if producing hydrogen onsite is really as cost-effective as Nel and Nikola claim.

For another potential source of cost reductions, Nel's Løkke told the audience that the company has a large facility in Denmark that can supply the kind of equipment that Nikola will need. However, the company is currently working on finding suppliers in the US that can make the same components closer to the customer...more

Locations of proposed Nikola Hydrogen Stations

Nel Hydrogen - supplier of Nikola Solar Hydrogen Station equipment


New York Times 4/21/19

Toyota Establishes Research Institute in China to Study Hydrogen, Green Technologies

BEIJING — Japan's Toyota Motor Corp said on Sunday it was setting up a research institute in Beijing in partnership with Tsinghua University to study car technology using hydrogen power and other green technologies that could ease environmental problems in China.

The initiative, outlined by Toyota's President and Chief Executive Akio Toyoda in a speech at Tsinghua University, is part of the Japanese carmaker's efforts to share more technology with China as it seeks to expand its business in the country by beefing up manufacturing capacity and distribution channels, a source close to Toyota said...more:

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Reply The hydrogen fuel strategy behind Nikola's truck dream: Water electrolysis, not methane reformation (Original post)
Aquila Apr 2019 OP
oflguy Apr 2019 #1

Response to Aquila (Original post)

Mon Apr 22, 2019, 03:16 AM

1. This one is easy

Just get Obama to tell the vehicle manufacturer to double their fuel mileages, like he did when he was president. Doubling the fuel mileage will effectively cut the cost of fuel in half, just like he did when he was in office.

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