Nikola hydrogen FCEV completes Edmonton-Calgary round-trip without refueling

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The Alberta Motor Transport Association’s (AMTA) Nikola hydrogen fuel-cell-electric vehicle (FCEV) completed a 519-km round-trip from Edmonton to Calgary without needing to refuel and with hydrogen in the tank to spare.

“The most important takeaway of this event is the vehicle has been proven for longhaul operations,” said Robert Harper, AMTA’s acting president. “We used 61% of the hydrogen on board.”

Nikola hydrogen FCEV
(Photo: Nikola Corporation)

“This trip was an incredibly exciting milestone for Nikola,” said Nicole Rose, head of public relations and corporate communications, Nikola.

“This distance of trip was the first to do so on a single tank of fuel in our Nikola hydrogen FCEV in Canada. The driver executed the run with an efficiency to make the trip with less than a full tank of fuel.”

Bison Transport’s Dave Lowe, a professional driver with 27 years experience, completed the run on Jan. 24.

Winter conditions

The truck weighing 26,000 lb. (11,793 kg) was hauling an empty trailer weighing 14,000 lb. (6350 kg). AMTA’s Harper said the outside temperature was -11C at the beginning of the trip and rose to 0C at the end.

Lowe took three hours to drive on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway from Edmonton to Calgary and the return leg took another three hours.

The next step will be to determine hydrogen consumption with a stocked trailer, Harper said.

“Other zero-emission vehicles that have been tested in Alberta are best suited for return-to-base and shorthaul operations. This vehicle will support U.S. weights of 82,000 lb.,” Harper added.

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Leo Barros is the associate editor of Today’s Trucking. He has been a journalist for more than two decades, holds a CDL and has worked as a longhaul truck driver. Reach him at

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  • Good news but can we trust Nikola again after what the founder was doing with no to call him out ?

  • Great news. One caveat Hydrogen when derived from water and then used goes right back to water , making Hydrogen 100% sustainable . Batteries are not a sustainable technology . We should stop Funding BEVs and just invest in Hydrogen

  • Really! You are bragging about driving 519 km on a tank of fuel. I can get almost 3000km out of a tank of fuel on my diesel truck with almost no pollution with the latest emissions. Nikola has got to do a lot better before I would even consider a hydrogen truck.

  • Congratulations Nikola, AMTA, Bison and Dave Lowe on completing the Edmonton Calgary round trip with fuel to spare and during winter conditions. This encouraging news sets the stage for cleaner transportation of goods between Alberta’s two main cities. Your future tests with loads and during colder periods will be interesting to follow, I wish you good luck and success in your future endeavors.

  • I am one who believes Hydrogen will eventually win out over straight Battery vehicles. I would love to see a Carbon foot print comparing the a pure battery unit to a fuel cell unit, staring at the mining of the raw material to the end of a 300 Km delivery run.
    Government seems to avoid any talk about lack of infrastructure for electrification of the national fleet by 2035. Fuel outlets exist and conversion to Hydrogen dispensing is far more sensible and cost effective.

  • I guess Hydrogen truck is for a very small trucking market? I haul Interstate, 80,000 lbs. gross weight maximum, across AZ. NM. & TX. from CA. Only a handful of states allow 82K lbs. with additional $$ permit. Not the norm. My 2014 KW T680 15Liter ISX Cummins motor 550 HP 2,100 lb bs. torque 76″ Sleeper has Double Bunk, Fridge, Microwave weighs 21,000 lbs full of fuel w/200 gallons, good for 1,000 miles B4 fuel needed. My Trailer is 48′ Flatbed Conestoga @11,000 lbs. I am required to haul 48,000 net weight, regular normal loads. Keeping me at that 80K max weight. That Day Cab Nikola weighs 26,000 lbs! That’s insane. Let’s not forget, trucking industry NO longer uses CAB OVER rigs due liability/workers comp accidents from past, for over 2 decades, Why? = Fat truckers falling off driver door! How about showing this info to your readers? Capishe.
    Thank you.

  • Amazing !!! Well done.
    I’m a trucker. I run calgary to edmonton LCV .
    What’s next and fueling stations for Hydrogen hmm.

  • Hydrogen trucks area. Interesting concept. I don’t see fully electric being an option of much use.
    The challenge I see here is to get this hydrogen truck into oilfield work hauling an end dump would be a good ground to test one for a start . Also get it into logging and test it

  • I’m sort of disappointed that management didn’t have the cohones to make it a real loadbearing operation. It shows doubt, not a positive aspect, huh? Oh well Irish

  • I really do believe that Nikola will succeed and that is why I have always been a huge supporter for Nikola and infect, I have my whole life saving in it.
    Go Nikola!

  • All well and good but will Ottawa accept batteries of the hydrogen electric they seem to think it has to be 100% electric for everything
    Prince George is going slightly different to the hydrogen battery
    they’re going to compressed hydrogen
    they have a huge plant for those of you who want to get hydrogen you can do it in Prince George
    most of the trucking fleets around prince George are switching to pure hydrogen motors
    there’s another hydrogen plant, I believe, being built in North Vancouver
    myself, I think that’s the answer whether Ottawa will agree or not I have no idea
    JCB has done a lot of research and development and they offer heavy duty equipment; bulldozers, loaders, excavators that run on straight hydrogen.