Transportation company Nikola Corp. and TC Energy Corp. said they will work to co-develop, build, operate, and own large-scale hydrogen production facilities in the U.S. and Canada.
The two said they are working to identify and develop projects to establish an infrastructure able to deliver low-cost and low-carbon hydrogen at scale. The two also are working to accelerate the adoption of heavy-duty zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and hydrogen across industrial sectors by establishing hubs in key locations.
One goal of the collaboration is to set up hubs producing 150 tonnes or more of hydrogen per day near highly traveled truck corridors to serve Phoenix-based Nikola’s planned need for hydrogen to fuel its Class 8 FCEVs within the next five years.
Calgary-based TC Energy has pipeline, storage, and power assets that can be leveraged to lower the cost and increase the speed of delivery of these hydrogen production hubs. The company may explore integrating midstream assets to enable hydrogen distribution and storage via pipeline. Assets also could be used to deliver CO2 to permanent sequestration sites to decarbonize the hydrogen production process.
In March, a report said that a lack of policies around adoption incentives, charging infrastructure, and electricity pricing was preventing the widespread electrification of commercial trucking fleets. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Los Angeles made the case for prioritizing public policy to help move long-haul trucking from diesel to electric.
The study analyzed the total cost of ownership of an electric long-haul truck compared to a diesel long-haul truck. It said that at the current global average battery pack price of $135/kWh, a Class 8 electric truck with 375-mile range and operated 300 miles per day offers about 13% lower total cost of ownership per mile, a three-year payback, and net present savings of about $200,000 over a 15-year lifetime.
The report said these modeled results were achieved with a 3% reduction in payload capacity. It said this penalty could be reversed through light-weighting, or reducing the truck’s overall weight.
The report estimated that the average distance traveled between 30-minute driver breaks is 150 miles and 190 miles for regional-haul and long-haul trucks, respectively. It said that 30% of charging using 500 kW or megawatt-scale fast-chargers would add sufficient range without impairing operations and economics of freight movement.