Nikola Motor Corporation announced today that it was awarded a $2 million grant from the United States Department of Energy to advance research in future autonomous hydrogen refueling technologies that will advance fueling stations.
The company announced the grant earlier today in a press release, highlighting its position to advance autonomous fueling technologies that will increase efficiency.
The grant was funded by the U.S. DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Transportation Office, which recently announced the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Research and Development program for 2021. The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Transportation Office “leads U.S. researchers and other partners in making transportation cleaner and more efficient through solutions that put electric drive vehicles on the road and replace oil with clean domestic fuels.”
“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,” President of Energy and Commercial for Nikola Pablo Koziner said. “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.”
Nikola plans to develop autonomous fueling systems and technologies that will create “fast, efficient, and safe fueling of a large onboard storage system to be less than 20 minutes for heavy-duty vehicles.” The company said in the release that its project would address the goal by developing a fully functional autonomous fueling system that can refuel trucks while minimizing labor and other challenges.
At the time of writing, NKLA stock was trading at $10.00 per share.
The company has had a tumultuous few weeks. Recently, the company’s co-founder and former CEO, Trevor Milton, was indicted on three charges of fraud related to statements he made while leading the company. After a scathing report released by Hindenburg Research last year, Milton left the company. The report indicated that Milton had misled shareholders regarding the capabilities of the company’s products, which were not as effective as previously advertised.
Milton was released on bail, and his attorneys released a statement that stated he was innocent. “Every executive in America should be horrified.” He will be represented by former Tesla attorney Brad Bondi, former attorney of Elon Musk Terence Healy, and former attorney for Donald Trump Marc Mukasey.