Nikola Motors has hired automotive industry veteran Jesse Schneider as its vice president of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

<p><strong>Jesse Schneider, vice president of hydrogen and fuel cell tehcnologies at Nikola Motors.</strong> <em>Photo: Nikola Motors</em></p>

Nikola has tasked Schneider with spearheading efforts with the Fuel Cell R&D division working with Bosch in Germany and the hydrogen fueling technology team for the Nikola stations with NEL Hydrogen in Norway. He will also lead the development of the Nikola R&D Center in Phoenix, Ariz.

Schneider spent most of his 20-year career working for BMW and Mercedes-Benz and was noted by Nikola as a hydrogen and fuel cell expert. He worked in vehicle electrification, fuel cells, electric and hydrogen infrastructure, and tanks at automakers around the globe.

Schneider was also instrumental in the worldwide standardization for electric and fuel cell vehicle infrastructure, serving as the chair of Hydrogen Fueling Standards and Specifications at SAE and ISO and most recently, wireless charging at SAE.

“As we prepare for production testing, durability and manufacturing, it was necessary to hire one of the top fuel cell pioneers in the world,” said Trevor Milton, Nikola Motors chief executive officer.  “We are excited to introduce industry veterans into our company structure to help prepare for the manufacturing rollout.”

Nikola is currently completing a 150,000 square-foot R&D facility in Phoenix that the company will relocate to by Aug. 2018. It also has plans for a 1 million square-foot assembly plant in Buckeye, Ariz., just outside of Phoenix.