Nikola Is Truckin’

You’re always hearing about Tesla. Here’s Nikola getting some recognition.

Nikola Motors, the electric truck startup, announced it has hired Jesse Schneider as vice president of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Considered an expert in the field of fuel cells, Schneider is an automotive industry veteran who spent most of his career working for BMW and Mercedes-Benz. His addition to the Nikola team is the latest in a series of moves that are forcing the industry and even general public to take the company seriously.

Schneider has spent nearly 20 years in vehicle electrification, fuel cells, electric and hydrogen infrastructure and storage tanks at automakers in Germany, the United States and China. He led a number of firsts related to fuel cell durability, hydrogen tanks and wireless charging, according to Green Car Congress.

Schneider also organized the worldwide standardization for electric and fuel cell vehicle infrastructure. He served as the chair of Hydrogen Fueling Standards and Specifications at SAE (J2601/2799) and ISO (TS 19880-1) and most recently, wireless charging at SAE (J2954).

At Nikola, Schneider will spearhead efforts with the Fuel Cell R&D Division working with Bosch in Germany and the hydrogen fueling technology team for the Nikola stations with NEL Hydrogen in Norway. He will also lead the development of the Nikola R&D Center in Phoenix.

 

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Nikola Motor Company announced in early February that the company has selected Buckeye, Arizona for its hydrogen-electric semi-truck manufacturing headquarters facility. The new 500 acre, one million square foot facility will be located on the west side of Phoenix and is expected to bring more than $1 billion in capital investment to the region by 2024.

“After 12 months, nine states and 30 site locations, Arizona, Governor Ducey, Sandra Watson and Chris Camacho were the clear frontrunners. Arizona has the workforce to support our growth and a governor that was an entrepreneur himself. They understood what 2,000 jobs would mean to their cities and state,” said Trevor Milton, CEO and founder, Nikola Motor Company. “We will begin transferring our R&D and headquarters to Arizona immediately and hope to have the transition completed by October 2018. We have already begun planning the construction for our new zero emission manufacturing facility in Buckeye, which we expect to have underway by the end of 2019.”

Nikola, established in 2014, designs and manufactures hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems and hydrogen stations. The company is bringing the nation’s most advanced semi-trucks to market with over 8,000 trucks on preorder. Nikola Motor Company says it selected Buckeye due to numerous factors, including the state’s pro-business environment, engineering schools, educated workforce and geographic location that provides
direct access to major markets.

“Nikola Motor Company’s selection of Arizona demonstrates that we are leading the charge when it comes to attracting innovative, industry-disrupting companies,” said Governor Ducey. “This incredible new technology will revolutionize transportation, and we’re very proud it will be engineered right here in Arizona. I thank Nikola’s CEO Trevor Milton and his entire team for this significant investment in our state.”

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