Nikola (NKLA 2.09%) and TravelCenters of America (TA -0.07%) are trying to make it easier for hydrogen-powered vehicles to refuel in the Golden State. The two companies announced today that they will collaborate on providing hydrogen fueling options at two existing TA-Petro locations in California that will serve vehicles around Los Angeles and north of the city through the Central Valley.
The fueling stations, expected to commence operations in the first quarter of 2023, will be compatible with all hydrogen fuel-cell powered trucks regardless of the manufacturer. Should the companies succeed in their collaboration, they anticipate developing a nationwide network of similar hydrogen fueling stations.
Pablo Koziner, Nikola's president for energy and commercial, said that the "collaboration in Southern California will form a basis for building an expanded network of hydrogen fueling stations for Nikola vehicle customers and for industry use overall. This collaboration forms an essential part in delivering the hydrogen-based ecosystem required to advance zero-emission solutions for commercial trucks."
The announcement of the partnership with TravelCenters of America is the second in as many weeks regarding Nikola's interest in providing commercial hydrogen services. Last week, Nikola announced its collaboration with IVECO, a subsidiary of CNH Industrial, to deploy hydrogen infrastructure in Germany. Specifically, the partnership aims to develop a pipeline network for transporting hydrogen from the sources of production to the fueling stations. The deal is in its nascent stages; the companies didn't provide a date for when the infrastructure will be operational.
While Nikola's announcement of partnerships regarding the supplying of hydrogen to fueling stations is worth noting, investors undoubtedly are more focused on how the company is proceeding with the development of its vehicles -- in particular, whether the company will achieve its target of beginning trial production of its Tre battery electric vehicles in the third quarter.