With CARB approval for the HVIP funding program, Nikola says its fuel-cell-electric truck is one step closer to production in 2023.  -  Photo: Nikola

With CARB approval for the HVIP funding program, Nikola says its fuel-cell-electric truck is one step closer to production in 2023.

Photo: Nikola

Nikola Corp. announced that its Tre hydrogen fuel cell electric truck is one step closer to being commercially available.

Nikola received a California Air Resources Board Zero Emission Powertrain Executive Order that is a requirement for eligibility for California’s Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, or HVIP. Nikola has submitted an application for eligibility of the Nikola Tre FCEV as an authorized vehicle under the HVIP program for a base incentive amount valued at $240,000 per FCEV truck.

The CARB executive order is a certificate of compliance with CARB regulations for zero-emission powertrains determined to meet specific emissions standards required for sale in California.

HVIP is a first-come, first-served incentive program that does not require the retirement and scrappage of an existing diesel vehicle as many incentive programs do, according to Nikola.

Upon final HVIP approval, purchasers of the Nikola Tre FCEV in 2023 will be able to qualify for a base incentive valued at $240,000 per truck; $270,000 per truck for drayage fleets; or up to $288,000 per truck for fleets with 10 trucks or less, performing drayage operations, and located within a disadvantaged community area. Eligible non-drayage fleets may secure up to 30 HVIP vouchers and drayage fleets may secure up to 50 vouchers.

“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,” explained Nikola President and CEO Michael Lohscheller. Full production deliveries are expected to start in the second half of 2023.

“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.”

With a range of up to 500 miles, the Nikola Tre FCEV is expected to have among the longest ranges of all commercially available zero-tailpipe-emission Class 8 tractors while realizing weight savings when compared to BEV Class 8 trucks with similar range, according to the company. The Tre FCEV is well-suited for a variety of applications ranging from drayage and intermodal to metro-regional truckload and less-than-truckload to certain specialized hauling use cases.

Nikola estimates fueling time for FCEVs at its Nikola fueling stations will be less than 20 minutes, based on expected technology improvements. Nikola has begun to implement its hydrogen dispensing station development program in California and announced three station locations in August 2022.

Purchasers of Nikola Tre battery-electric trucks and FCEVs will also qualify for an additional $40,000 in clean commercial vehicle tax credits in 2023 from the federal government due to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, according to Nikola.

Nikola’s Tre BEV, with a range of up to 330 miles, qualified for HVIP certification in California in January 2022. California purchasers of the Nikola Tre BEV may qualify for an incentive valued at $120,000 per truck, and $150,000 for drayage fleets, helping to reduce the total cost of ownership. The Tre BEV is also eligible for a variety of other incentives across the United States. The Tre BEV started serial production in March 2022 and is available for purchase and delivery now.

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