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Nikola Tre FCEVs Drove 350 Miles on a Tank of Hydrogen

As predicted, Nikola could not disclose a lot of information to autoevolution or any other website about the Tre FCEV. It cannot say how big its tanks are at this point, but it was ok to tell us they store the gas at 700 bar (10,153 psi). It also did not tell us where the alpha prototypes went in California, but we know they traveled around 350 miles (563 kilometers).
Nikola Tre alpha prototypes refuel with hydrogen and head toward California 12 photos
Nikola Tre alpha prototypes refuel with hydrogen and head toward CaliforniaNikola Tre alpha prototypes refuel with hydrogen and head toward CaliforniaNikola Tre alpha prototypes refuel with hydrogen and head toward CaliforniaNikola TreNikola TreNikola TreNikola TreNikola TreNikola TreNikola TreNikola's plan to 2023
That came courtesy of Jason Roycht, global head of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles at Nikola. In a retweet about the trip, the executive mentioned that the two trucks traveled that distance “to their new homes” – more on that later – to kickstart their “customer pilot phase.” He even suggested the route these trucks may have taken with the song “West Bound and Down” by Jerry Reed.

This stage implies that the vehicles will be tested not only by Nikola’s engineers but also by customers, who will put these FCEVs to the test in real-life situations. Considering these clients will do that to eventually buy these trucks, they tend to be very strict in their evaluation of the new Tre FCEV.

Nikola promised to release more details about the trucks at a later date, probably when their development is completed, and they are ready to be put up for sale. That is expected to happen by 2023. When the time comes, Nikola will need to have a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in place in the U.S. and in the other markets where the company intends to sell its trucks.

At first, Nikola would help establish this infrastructure using PPA (Power Purchase Agreements) on main federal transmission lines. The idea was to buy electricity for cheap when it is in low demand to power electrolyzers and decompose water into hydrogen. Nikola had even purchased five alkaline electrolyzers from Nel ASA, each of them able to produce 8 tons of hydrogen per day.

After Trevor Milton was accused of lying about Nikola’s products, we have never heard about those plans again apart from the partnership the company established with Opal Fuels. Nikola once said that it would focus on producing the trucks. The effort seems to be working: while it is developing the Tre FCEV, some units of the Tre BEV would have already been delivered. We’ll probably only manage to confirm that at the company’s Q4 2021 earnings call, scheduled for February 24, 2022.

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