Are Hydrogen Semi-Trucks on the Way?


Green technology will undoubtedly see a boom in the coming years, but how will that affect the trucking industry? Many trucking companies are exploring various ways to go green to save on fuel costs.

A number of companies, including Nikola, are developing semi-trucks that run on hydrogen power. Find out why this distinction is important and when the trucks may get on the road.

Hydrogen Powered Semi-Trucks From Nikola

Nikola, an electric semi-truck corporation, is planning on entering a collaboration with Arizona Public Service Company to use their electricity to produce hydrogen for long-term refueling purposes.

According to Nikola, producing a kilogram of hydrogen for about $2.50 just makes sense financially. To produce hydrogen at this rate, Nikola needs to secure a line of electricity at a rate of 3.5 cents per kilowatt hour. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) can meet their purposes at a rate of about 2.7 cents per kilowatt hour.

Once this source of energy is secured, Nikola can begin setting up hydrogen refueling stations across North America. In total, Nikola estimates that about 700 would need to be built over the next decade.

If everything goes as planned, Nikola aims to bundle the cost of hydrogen fuel and maintenance with lease plans for its own fuel-cell trucks of seven years or 700,000 miles. This might be a deal breaker for some trucking companies.

The benefit for drivers should be a drastically reduced time to recharge the truck. Time is money.

H2Accelerate Hydrogen Trucking Agreement in Europe

H2Accelerate is an agreement shared between Volvo, Daimler Truck AG, OMV, IVECO, and Shell. This collaboration aims to make hydrogen semi-trucks commonplace in Europe with the following plan:

  • Gain public support
  • Attain funding before commercial projects are developed
  • Share technical details about hydrogen semi-truck development as the project scales
  • Keep communication open in regards to policies and regulations
  • Strive to keep advancements sustainable, while achieving the zero-emission long-haul goal in a swift manner

According to members of H2Accelerate, or H2A:

“The participant companies in H2Accelerate agree that hydrogen-powered trucks will be key for enabling CO2-neutral transportation in the future. This unprecedented collaboration is an important milestone for driving forward the right framework conditions for establishing a mass market for hydrogen-based trucking. It is also a call to action for policymakers, further players involved and society as a whole.”

H2A anticipates transforming the European long-haul trucking industry into a net zero emission sector by 2050.

With Nikola in Arizona and H2A in Europe, will hydrogen semi-trucks commonly hit the roads within the next decade?