Nikola’s second HYLA hydrogen refueling station opens in Southern California

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Updated May 13, 2024
Nikola HYLA
Nikola expands its hydrogen network with inauguration of its latest HYLA refueling station in Southern California at the the Port of Long Beach. The new modular station is part of a growing network that aims to have 14 sites operating by the end of 2024.

Nikola continues its hydrogen refueling network expansion plans with the opening of a new HYLA-branded station near the Port of Long Beach in Southern California. The zero-emissions transportation and energy supplier is aiming to expand its charging network to nine stations by the middle of this year.

If things go according to plan, the goal is to have 14 sites, consisting of HYLA modular fuelers and FirstElement Fuel stations and other partner sites, operational by the end of 2024.

“We are thrilled to inaugurate our second HYLA hydrogen refueling station in Southern California, marking a significant stride toward sustainable transportation,” said President of Energy Ole Hoefelmann. “Our heartfelt appreciation extends to the City of Long Beach and the Long Beach Fire Department for their instrumental role in realizing this vision. With multiple stations in the pipeline this year, we are steadfast in our mission to pioneer zero-emission trucking solutions and drive positive environmental impact.”

This newest refueling station officially began operations on May 4, 2024. 

[Related: HYLA opens southern California fueling station]

Nikola is actively working to secure its hydrogen supply chain and continue the expansion of the HYLA infrastructure as demand is expected to increase in the coming years. The company already has a 10-year agreement with FirstElement Fuel, the largest hydrogen refueling provider in the Golden State with an 80% market share, to refuel Nikola Tre hydrogen trucks in the surrounding area. It also recently opened its first HYLA hydrogen station in Ontario, California that is only available to Nikola Tre customers. 

Late last month, Clean Trucking attended the opening of the first ever commercial heavy-duty hydrogen refueling station outside of the Port of Oakland. Built and maintained by FirstElement Fuel, the station consists of two heavy-duty pumps capable of supporting 200 trucks per day at a rate of 10 minutes per 80-kg fill. There are also four light- and medium-duty pumps to serve as an additional fueling location for California’s 16,000-vehicle passenger vehicles. 

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The HYLA refueling network is aiming to offer a variety of refueling solutions to Nikola’s hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and other Class 8 customers. These include modular and permanent HYLA stations, as well as partnerships with public truck stops. 

Nikola’s ongoing expansion represents an impressive about-face for the company that was once the darling of Wall Street. Back in 2019, founder and former CEO Trevor Milton was accused of making false and misleading statements about Nikola’s strategies to influence potential investors. 

He later took Nikola public through a Special Purpose Acquisition Company merger, also referred to as a “SPAC,” instead of a traditional IPO. Milton was ultimately found guilty of fraud in 2022 and was sentenced to four years in prison late last year. In the aftermath, Nikola dropped plans to sell a battery-electric light-duty pickup truck and shifted attention to developing Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell trucks and the required infrastructure. 

Also last month, Nikola Chairman Stephen Shindler announced plans for a proposed reverse stock split in order to consolidate the number of existing shares of corporate stock into fewer, more valuable shares. The board is set to vote on this proposal on June 5. If it fails to pass, Shindler said Nikola could potentially face a Nasdaq delisting.

Jay Traugott has covered the automotive and transportation sector for over a decade and now serves as Senior Editor for Clean Trucking. He holds a drifting license and has driven on some of the world's best race tracks, including the Nurburgring and Spa. He lives near Boulder, Colorado, and spends his free time snowboarding, climbing, and hiking. He can be reached at [email protected].

Hydrogen Fuel Cell & BEV Survey
The following survey was sent as a link in an email cover message in February 2023 to the newsletter lists for Overdrive and CCJ. After approximately two weeks, a total of 176 owner-operators under their own authority, 113 owner-operators leased or assigned to a carrier and 82 fleet executives and 36 fleet employees from fleets with 10 or more power units had completed and submitted the questionnaire for a total of 407 qualified responses. Cross-tabulations based on respondent type are provided for each question when applicable.
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