Nel ASA has received a purchase order from Nikola Motor Company for two demo refuelling stations to provide hydrogen (H2) to Nikola’s fleet of prototype H2 trucks.

The order, which has a value of $3.6m, is the initial part of an exclusive partnership aiming at developing low-cost renewable H2 production and fuelling sites for the potential development of 16 large-scale sites with a capacity up to 32 tonnes of H2 per day.

Nel’s CEO, Jon André Løkke, enthused, “We are very excited to announce our partnership with Nikola for a joint endeavor to develop mega-scale H2 fuelling stations based on our new cluster design, which leverages Nel’s highly scalable electrolysers in order to reduce the cost of H2 and achieve price parity with fossil fuels. Our initial two demo stations will each provide one tonne of H2 to Nikola Motor’s prototype trucks and serve as design verification for Nel’s mega-scale concept. This solution will be jointly developed and scaled into the world’s most efficient network of low-cost H2 production and fuelling sites.”

Nikola Motor has entered into an agreement with Nel to work exclusively on all H2 stations involving electrolysis. The initial part of the partnership includes building two demo-stations for H2 fuelling, which will serve the Nikola test fleet that will begin rolling out next year. For the following mega-stations, Nel will incorporate its clustering concept, where eight Nel A-485 electrolysers are integrated into one unit, to achieve lower CapEx levels.

Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola Motor, added, “We are building the world’s largest H2 network. Nel´s electrolysers are well proven, and known in the industry for being very efficient and reliable, making them a natural backbone for the development of our mega-stations. We are beyond excited to work with the Nel team to deploy this groundbreaking technology as quickly as possible across the US.”

Nikola has an initial target to build 16 of the mega-scale H2 stations between 2019-2021, with a minimum of eight units of the Nel A-485 electrolyser per site. The solution is scalable to a maximum of 32 units of the Nel A-485 electrolyser per site, equaling a production capacity of up to 32 tonnes of H2 per day.

Delivery of the demo stations is intended to start in the second half of 2018.