Nikola head of fuel cell development leaves

Nikola Corp., the troubled electric-truck startup, lost a key member of its government crew with the departure of the previous head of its fuel cell development program.

The company mentioned Jesse Schneider, government vp of know-how, hydrogen and fuel cells, left the company as of April 1. He had led its engineering groups engaged on fuel cell methods, a deliberate hydrogen fueling station community and storage know-how.

“Jesse Schneider departed on April 1 on very good terms and we wish him well,” Colleen Robar, a Nikola spokeswoman, mentioned Wednesday in a textual content message.

Hydrogen-powered autos and the fueling community to help them is on the core of the Phoenix, Arizona-based company’s business mannequin after it deserted a deliberate pickup project with General Motors and development of powersports autos.

Shares of Nikola fell 4.5 p.c to $12.63 in afternoon buying and selling in New York.

Nikola is one of a number of companies taking a look at fuel cell know-how to energy business autos, alongside Toyota Motor Corp and Hyundai Motor Co. It can also be engaged on a battery-electric semi truck with CNH Industrial NV’s Iveco unit, which is because of be be inbuilt Ulm, Germany, on the finish of this year. Nikola additionally has agreements with each GM and Robert Bosch Gmbh to make use of their fuel cell know-how in its vehicles.

Nikola’s hydrogen-powered truck is due to enter manufacturing at a manufacturing facility beneath building in Arizona beginning in 2023. The company can also be engaged on a community of hydrogen-fueling stations with the purpose of constructing a number of hundred areas over the following decade. Installation of the primary of these is because of begin this quarter.

At the time of his hiring in April 2018, Nikola described Schneider as an “automotive industry veteran” with 20 years of expertise engaged on fuel cells and electrification in a number of areas. He beforehand labored at each BMW AG and the previous DaimlerChrysler, the U.S. unit of which is now half of Stellantis NV, in line with his LinkedIn profile.

“It was my honor to lead the hydrogen and fuel cell development teams of the Nikola Two and soon-to-be-released Tre Fuel Cell prototypes with Iveco and Bosch,” Schneider mentioned in an emailed assertion. “I left Nikola with the purpose of starting a new company in California.”

His LinkedIn profile now lists him as CEO of ZEV Station, a startup engaged on renewable-energy-powered electrical charging and hydrogen fueling stations.

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