Electric semitruck maker Nikola (NKLA -3.85%) isn't selling its hydrogen-fueled trucks yet, but investors are thinking about that segment of its business today. A new deal in the hydrogen sector has investors thinking Nikola's trucks will be in high demand when it begins selling its fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) models late next year.
Nikola shares jumped almost 7% in early trading today after Amazon and Plug Power announced a green hydrogen deal. As of 10:50 a.m. ET, Nikola shares were still 3.6% above yesterday's closing price.
Nikola had already produced more than 50 of its battery electric trucks as of June 30, and expects to deliver between 300 and 500 before the end of the year. Its hydrogen-fueled FCEVs will come next with prototypes built and beta testing starting. In its second-quarter conference call with investors, the company said it plans to begin commercial production late next year. Amazon's comments about hydrogen fuel today has investors more excited about the prospects of Nikola's FCEVs.
The deal announced today is for Amazon to purchase liquid green hydrogen from Plug Power starting in 2025. Kara Hurst, Amazon's head of worldwide sustainability, stated that the e-commerce company wants to be an early adopter of the fuel source to help drive decarbonization in sectors including long-haul trucking. If others follow Amazon's lead, it's a good indicator that demand will be growing for Nikola's trucks.
Nikola's Tre FCEV is currently in pilot testing with transportation company TTSI in southern California. TTSI has committed to buying 70 of Nikola's fuel cell trucks along with 30 of its battery electric versions. Investors know that if Amazon or other shippers become future customers, too, it could mean good things for Nikola's future prospects.