The United States Department of Energy has given Nikola Corporation a nearly $2 million grant to advance its research into autonomous refueling technology for future hydrogen fueling stations.
Autonomous fueling is a component of the industry’s endeavor to ensure that a big onboard storage system can be fueled in less than 20 minutes for heavy-duty vehicles. This project is planned to accomplish this aim by developing an autonomous fueling system capable of rapidly refueling heavy-duty fuel-cell electric trucks while minimizing labor and issues associated with ergonomics and equipment maintenance, in comparison to a manual fueling procedure.
“This funding is essential to advance key hydrogen fueling technologies that can improve the overall efficiency of fuel-cell commercial vehicles, while maintaining the safety and reliability standards required,” said Pablo Koziner, president, Energy and Commercial, Nikola. “The work we are doing with the Department of Energy and our partners on fueling technology is part of Nikola’s wholistic approach to the hydrogen ecosystem; supplementary to our work on heavy-duty vehicles, infrastructure, and energy solutions.”
The project is supported by the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Transportation Office, as part of the recently announced FY2021 FOA for hydrogen and fuel cell research and development.