Incentives could shave 70% off price of Nikola fuel cell truck
Author: Alan Adler
Nikola applied for the Tre FCEV’s inclusion in California’s Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) base fuel cell incentive of $240,000 after receiving a zero emissions powertrain executive order from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). If Nikola qualifies for California’s $240,000 subsidy on its Tre hydrogen fuel cell electric truck and some other spiffs apply, a buyer could save 40% to 70% off the upfront cost of the zero-emission truck. The technology — a fuel cell’s only emission is water vapor — still makes the Tre FCEV pricey. Nikola won’t give a specific figure, but something close to $1 million per unit before incentives would not be far off. That doesn’t count hydrogen fuel, which likely would be more expensive than diesel, even at the latter’s elevated rates. If used in a drayage fleet, the per-truck incentive would rise to $270,000. It tops out at $288,000 for fleets with 10 or fewer trucks conducting drayage operations. Rules require those trucks operate in a designated disadvantaged area where excessive pollution from trucks is an impediment to clean air. “We have pricing for the Tre FCEV and hydrogen fuel that we expect will generally provide a competitive TCO [total cost of ownership] compared to the market’s costs of procuring and operating diesel trucks in California,” a Nikola spokesperson told FreightWaves.