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Nikola invests $22.4M in fuel cell lab development

Hydrogen-electric truck manufacturer, Nikola Motor Company, has signed a $22.4 million order to purchase equipment for the first phase of its fuel cell development laboratory, representing an initial instalment in a greater investment plan that totals several hundred million US dollars.

“It is critical that we move fast and have the best equipment as part of our truck development process,” said Nikola President, Mark Russell. “By creating our own facility, Nikola will be able to test and validate its fuel cell components in half the time it would take other OEMs and third-party labs.”

This laboratory is intended to be the most advanced fuel cell research and development facility in the world, according to Nikola. The new facility will enable Nikola to develop, validate and test its entire fuel cell system, including membrane electrode assemblies, stampings, stacks, and power electronics. Nikola’s lab will also include climate-controlled chambers and dynamometers to test components independently or as a complete powertrain system.

“This lab will be filled with extremely talented fuel cell engineers and is a critical part in our truck development – enabling Nikola to set a new efficiency benchmark for heavy-duty fuel cell systems,” said Nikola CEO, Trevor Milton. “We believe the fuel cell will replace the diesel engine in the next 10 years. It is a race to the finish line now for our team. Other OEMs have expressed interest in using Nikola’s fuel cell drivetrain and hydrogen stations and we plan on making them available to other OEMs who share our vision.”

Nikola will debut its battery-powered unit alongside its Class 8 prime mover later this month at a three day event, Nikola World.

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