The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Nikola Motor Company a $1.7 million grant to advance its research into fuel cell membrane electrode assembly (MEA).
“This award provides an opportunity for the highly talented Nikola team to leverage expertise in academia and exceptional resources within the DOE Fuel Cell Consortium for Performance and Durability to accelerate a breakthrough that will benefit the entire hydrogen and fuel cell industry and community,” said Jesse Schneider, executive vice president of hydrogen & fuel cell technologies at Nikola.
The joint grant was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Transportation Office under the recently announced FY19 Commercial Trucks and Off-Road Applications FOA.
Nikola is pursuing a new approach and unique MEA architecture to satisfy the high-power output and durability requirements of heavy-duty applications with its academic partners: Carnegie Mellon University Prof. Shawn Litster, Northeastern University Prof. Sanjeev Mukerjee and Georgia Institute of Technology Prof. Younan Xia.
In this project, Nikola will bring together advanced concepts in catalysts, ionomers, proton exchange membranes, and gas diffusion layers within a robust MEA by using appropriate, scalable fabrication methods, the company says.
Nikola’s hydrogen station partner NEL Hydrogen of Oslo, Norway was also awarded a $2 million award from the DOE. Nikola executives are serving as the technical lead on that project as well.