Project Partners Launch First Commercial Hydrogen Fueling Station in Alberta


A milestone event in the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge, Blackjacks Roadhouse in Nisku, Alberta, Canada, has announced Alberta’s first commercial hydrogen fueling station.

This project is the beginning of an expanded hydrogen fueling network across western Canada, which solves the hydrogen economy’s “chicken or the egg” dilemma — enabling fueling infrastructure to keep pace with demand.

Supported by PrairiesCan, the project is made possible by collaboration from stakeholders including the Alberta Motor Transport Association; Nikola Motor Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Nikola Corporation; Suncor; Leduc County; Emissions Reduction Alberta; and Blackjacks Roadhouse. It demonstrates the collective efforts from across the Edmonton region and beyond to accelerate the hydrogen economy. The Edmonton region is moving aggressively to take advantage of the hydrogen opportunity for Canada.

The HYLA fueling station, representing Nikola’s energy brand, will be situated along Highway 2 in Leduc County, Alberta. Highway 2 is a vital transportation corridor linking Alberta’s two largest urban centers — the Edmonton region and Calgary. This station will play a key role in decarbonizing one of western Canada’s busiest highways, with approximately 96,000 vehicles passing by Blackjacks Roadhouse daily. Moreover, it will help meet fueling needs of Nikola hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles destined for the Canadian market and ensure a seamless and reliable refueling experience for hydrogen-powered vehicles in the Edmonton region. 

The ultimate goal of the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge is to get 5,000 hydrogen-powered or dual-fuel-hydrogen vehicles on the roads in western Canada by 2028. Investments in fueling infrastructure and supporting technology are a big part of reaching that goal and achieving the critical mass of vehicles needed to sustainably transition the commercial transportation sector to hydrogen. 

Clarence Shields, owner and operator of the racing- and trucker-themed pub/gameroom Blackjacks Roadhouse, is making substantial investments in the project, underscoring his belief that hydrogen is Alberta’s future, and demonstrating the impact private industry can have on accelerating the hydrogen economy. 

The HYLA modular fueler uses a 700-bar pressure-fill system — allowing hydrogen fuel supplied by Suncor to be compressed into smaller volumes and dispensed into onboard storage for long-range vehicles including trucks, buses and cars. As demand for hydrogen grows, the goal is to replace the modular fueler with a permanent facility and relocate it to expand the HYLA fueling network across Alberta. 

As Alberta remains the leading producer of hydrogen in Canada, initiatives like these reinforce the role hydrogen will play in achieving Canada’s net-zero goals by 2050, particularly in difficult-to-decarbonize sectors such as heavy-duty trucking.

“Hydrogen is an important part of our future energy needs, and Alberta is a keen partner in developing the technology and regulations needed to move hydrogen forward,” says Alberta’s Premier Danielle Smith. “It’s very exciting to see Alberta’s first commercial hydrogen fueling station, and I look forward to watching further development and expansion of hydrogen use in the years to come.”

“This is a groundbreaking step toward a hydrogen-powered future and is a testament to the collaborative spirit driving sustainable innovation in Alberta,” adds Ole Hoefelmann, president of Energy at Nikola. “As Nikola Corporation joins hands with such visionary partners, we celebrate the launch of the first commercial hydrogen refueling station on Alberta’s bustling Highway 2. This initiative will look to propel western Canada toward a cleaner, hydrogen-driven transportation sector. Together, we are fueling the momentum for a more resilient and sustainable tomorrow.”

Visit to stay up to date and learn how to participate in the Challenge.

Photo credit

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments