Nikola expects Inflation Reduction Act to lower hydrogen, truck costs

Incentives provided by the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will help Nikola Corp (NKLA.O) by lowering costs of its electric trucks and hydrogen energy business, the electric vehicle maker said on Thursday.

The act, which U.S. President Joe Biden signed in August, provides incentives designed to bring more battery and electric vehicle manufacturing into the United States.

The legislation will help enable Nikola’s semi-trucks to be competitive on a total cost of ownership basis compared to diesel-powered trucks, the Phoenix, Arizona-based company said.

Nikola revealed that it plans to build up to 60 hydrogen-dispensing stations by 2026 and enable access to up to 300 metric tons of low-carbon hydrogen supply.

The IRA’s tax credits and incentives would lower cost of hydrogen, dispensing infrastructure and Nikola’s trucks, the company said, adding that it would create more jobs.

Companies that produce hydrogen will also receive up to $3 per kilogram of the fuel for the first five years.

“If you’re getting something at lower cost, I think you pass that on to the customer, they benefit, volumes go up, and so on,” Nikola Energy President Carey Mendes said.

Nikola aims to sell fuel-cell trucks bundling in hydrogen fuel for the truck by building dispensing stations close to customer locations. “What we try and do is give them a surety both on price as well surety of supply (of hydrogen),” Mendes added.

A $40,000 tax credit may also reduce upfront cost of Nikola’s Tre battery electric and fuel cell-powered trucks, for fleets transitioning from diesel-powered trucks or new fleets, Nikola added.

The company, which completed its acquisition of battery maker Romeo Power last week, said that it may also receive a $10 per kilowatt hour benefit if it decides to make battery modules in house for its trucks.