CORRECTED-Nikola makes new unit for hydrogen ops to sharpen focus on core EV business

| Wed, 25 Jan 2023 23:22:54 GMT

(Correct last paragraph to say Nikola is reporting fourth-quarter results on Feb. 23, and not Feb. 24)

Jan 25 (Reuters) – Electric-truck maker Nikola Corp said on Wednesday it had created a new unit to manage the production and distribution of hydrogen fuel, allowing the company to sharpen focus on its core business of vehicle production.

“The HYLA brand represents Nikola’s hydrogen-focused energy business by supporting our fuel-cell electric vehicles and those of other OEMs (original equipment makers),” said Carey Mendes, president of Nikola’s energy business, in a statement.

Vehicle manufacturers have been pushing to expand charging and re-fueling infrastructure to better serve rising usage of alternate-fuel vehicles by consumers and fleet owners.

Nikola, whose hydrogen-powered TRE FCEV trucks are expected to hit the roads later this year, has said that it is building capacity to supply up to 300 metric tons of hydrogen per day. It also plans to have 60 hydrogen stations by 2026.

Its main hydrogen production unit in Buckeye, Arizona, will finish the initial phase of production in the second half of 2024, the company said on Wednesday. Upon completion, it is expected to produce 150 metric tons per day of the fuel.

The move to separate its hydrogen business comes as the company faces challenges in delivering vehicles to customers.

In November, Nikola said it would miss its target of delivering at least 300 vehicles in 2022 and declined to issue fresh forecasts, citing macroeconomic uncertainty clouding its outlook.

The company is due to report fourth-quarter results on Feb. 23. (Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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