Nikola Corporation has received a California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) Zero Emission Powertrain (“ZEP”) Executive Order that is a requirement for Nikola’s Tre hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (“FCEV”) to be eligible for CARB’s Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (“HVIP”) program. Following receipt of this Executive Order, Nikola has submitted an application for eligibility of the Nikola Tre FCEV as an authorized vehicle under the HVIP program for a base incentive amount valued at $240,000 per FCEV truck.
CARB’s ZEP Executive Order is a certificate of compliance with CARB regulations for zero-emission powertrains determined to meet specific emissions standards required for sale in California. Obtaining this certification is also a requirement for vehicles to qualify for HVIP. HVIP is an important program intended to advance commercialization and to help reduce the total cost of ownership of advanced commercial vehicles in the state of California. HVIP is unique among incentive programs and is viewed as more powerful than other incentive programs in accelerating adoption of zero tailpipe emission commercial vehicles in that it is a first-come, first-served incentive program that does not require the retirement and scrappage of an existing diesel vehicle.
Upon final HVIP approval, purchasers of the Nikola Tre FCEV in 2023 will be able to qualify for a base incentive valued at $240,000 per truck; $270,000 per truck for drayage fleets; or up to $288,000 per truck for fleets with 10 trucks or less, performing drayage operations, and located within a disadvantaged community area. Eligible non-drayage fleets may secure up to 30 HVIP vouchers and drayage fleets may secure up to 50 vouchers.
In addition to the funding provided by HVIP, purchasers of Nikola’s Tre battery-electric vehicle (“BEV”) and FCEVs will also qualify for an additional $40,000 in clean commercial vehicle tax credits in 2023 from the federal government due to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.
According to Nikola President and CEO, Michael Lohscheller, “Obtaining this CARB Executive Order is an important step for Nikola to support the launch of the Tre FCEV in California, our first priority market for this zero-emission powertrain option, with full production deliveries expected to start in the second half of 2023. We expect that the funding available through HVIP will drive a competitive total cost of ownership for the Tre FCEV truck, powered by the hydrogen fuel supply and infrastructure we are developing, and serviced by our local dealer network.”
Lohscheller added: “In anticipation of the roll out of this much anticipated vehicle, we encourage fleets operating in California to familiarize themselves with our Tre vehicle platform by visiting our dealers nationwide and experiencing our Tre BEVs, which demonstrate the advanced technology and driver-centric design that will be featured in the Tre FCEV. Nikola and its dealer network are taking orders for the FCEVs now.”
With a range of up to 500 miles, the Nikola Tre FCEV is expected to have among the longest ranges of all commercially available zero tailpipe emission Class 8 tractors while realizing weight savings when compared to BEV Class 8 trucks with similar range. The Tre FCEV is well-suited for a variety of applications ranging from drayage and intermodal to metro-regional truckload and less than truckload to certain specialized hauling use cases.
With an estimated fueling time of less than 20 minutes at Nikola fueling stations based on expected technology improvements, transitioning from diesel to hydrogen is anticipated to be a seamless experience. Further benefits are expected to result in a reduced need for extensive electrical infrastructure planning and build out, particularly as Nikola’s public fueling infrastructure network continues to develop.
Nikola’s Tre BEV, with a range of up to 330 miles, qualified for HVIP certification in California in January 2022. California purchasers of the Nikola Tre BEV may qualify for an incentive valued at $120,000 per truck, and $150,000 for drayage fleets, helping to reduce the total cost of ownership. The Tre BEV is also eligible for a variety of other incentives across the United States. The Tre BEV started serial production in March 2022 and is available for purchase and delivery now.