MEDIA RELEASE: Alberta’s first commercial hydrogen fueling station launches in the Edmonton region

Clean Technology, Hydrogen
Published On
March 27, 2024

Decarbonizing Alberta’s busiest highway, kickstarting the expansion of Western Canada’s hydrogen fueling network 

March 27, 2024 [EDMONTON METROPOLITAN REGION]—Today marks a significant milestone in the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge as Blackjacks Roadhouse unveils 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 and made possible by joint collaboration from key 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, this project is a demonstration of 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 Corporation’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 centres— 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 the fueling needs of the 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 into 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 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 like trucks, busses, and cars. And 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, like heavy-duty trucking. 

The 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge isn’t just for large organizations; it’s an opportunity for everyone to come together to de-risk the transition to hydrogen. 



“Enabling Alberta’s heavy vehicle sector to adopt hydrogen fuel and demonstrate the real-world capabilities of hydrogen-powered heavy vehicles is part of our government’s support of a low-carbon energy ecosystem that creates good-paying jobs for Albertans. The strong partnership among all levels of government and industry on today’s launch of Alberta’s first commercial hydrogen fueling station is at the heart of the new Framework to Build a Green Prairie Economy—our government’s long-term commitment to greater collaboration with Prairie stakeholders on their priorities for a cleaner and sustainable economy that leaves no one behind.”  

  • The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan 


“Today’s unveiling of Alberta’s first commercial hydrogen fueling station demonstrates Edmonton’s leadership in Canada’s drive towards a net-zero economy. This milestone is a testament both to the region’s strength and expertise in driving Canada’s hydrogen future, and also to our shared vision of supporting a healthy environment and thriving economy.” 

  • The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages 


“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. 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.” 

  • Alberta Premier Danielle Smith 


“The launch of Alberta’s first commercial hydrogen fueling station is a huge milestone in advancing Alberta as a global energy supplier. Hydrogen is the next step in our commitment to reducing emissions, and projects like this demonstrate that we have the resources, expertise and interest in our province to drive innovation and become leading suppliers of responsibly produced clean hydrogen. This fueling station will kickstart the build-out of hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Alberta and support the development of a hydrogen economy in this region.” 

  • Brian Jean, Minister of Energy and Minerals 


“On behalf of Leduc County, we congratulate Blackjacks Roadhouse on the opening of the province’s first commercial hydrogen fueling station. The Nisku Business Park is a hub of innovation; this hydrogen fueling station not only highlights the economic diversification we are experiencing in the County, but provides a viable strategy for many of our transportation, logistics and distribution businesses to diversify as well.” 

  • Tanni Doblanko, Mayor of Leduc County 


“As Shareholder Chair of Edmonton Global, I am excited to support the launch of the first commercial hydrogen fueling station. This project is a big step towards a greener future and shows the region’s commitment to innovative and sustainable energy solutions. Congratulations to everyone involved in making this happen. We’re not just building infrastructure but leading the way in environmental responsibility and inspiring others to join us in creating a sustainable future for our region and beyond.” 

  • Simon Boersma, Mayor of Morinville and Edmonton Global Shareholder Chair 


“The hydrogen opportunity for the Edmonton region is massive but we need to work together to capitalize on it—and that’s what we see happening here. Many partners were involved in making this project happen. The 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge is accelerating the transition to hydrogen and helping to decarbonize the transportation sector across Western Canada. Congratulations to Blackjacks and all the partners that have helped bring this project to fruition. Canada’s path to net-zero runs through the Edmonton region.” 

  • Malcolm Bruce, CEO, Edmonton Global 


“The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) congratulates Blackjacks on this accomplishment. AMTA is constantly working to support the advancement of Alberta’s zero-emission economy. The commercial transportation industry is integral to Alberta’s prosperity, and widespread investments into a cleaner future will continue our province’s economic development. Recent successful projects with partners PrairiesCan, Nikola, and Bison Transport have proven that zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) are more than viable for operations in Alberta, and we are looking forward to the future.” 

  • Doug Paisley, Board Chair, AMTA 


“This is a ground-breaking step towards a hydrogen-powered future and is a testament to the collaborative spirit driving sustainable innovation in Alberta. 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 towards a cleaner, hydrogen-driven transportation sector. Together, we are fueling the momentum for a more resilient and sustainable tomorrow.” 

  • Ole Hoefelmann, President of Energy, Nikola Corporation 


“Today is a great day for Alberta. We’ve taken an important step forward as energy leaders. Innovation is a key to further advancing Alberta’s hydrogen ambitions. That’s why Alberta Innovates provides full hydrogen value chain support from funding to opening Canada’s first hydrogen purity lab to public awareness building. Harnessing the entrepreneurship of our business community ensures that we remain at the front of the hydrogen economy.” 

  •  Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates 


About the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge: 

We’re designing Canada’s roadmap to a net-zero future—starting in the Edmonton region. The ultimate goal of the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge is to get 5,000 hydrogen or dual-fuel hydrogen vehicles on Western Canada’s roads within five years. This Edmonton Region Hydrogen HUB initiative is bringing together industry leaders and champions from across the entire hydrogen value chain to decarbonize the commercial transportation sector with hydrogen technology. And when we prove it works here, the same model can be used nationwide.  

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

About Edmonton Global: 

The purpose of Edmonton Global istoradically transform and grow the economy of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. We are a not-for-profit corporation founded by 14 municipalities that make up the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Our focus is attracting foreign investment, helping regional businesses export with the world, enhancing our region’s global competitiveness, and bringing our regiontogether with a unified voicetoattract the attention and interest of investors the world over. 

About Alberta Motor Transport Association: 

The Alberta Motor Transport Association is a not-for-profit, advocacy and safety training association that functions as The Voice, The Standard and The Resource for commercial transportation in Alberta. For more than 86 years, our work has encompassed a broad range of environmental, social, economic, safety and compliance matters that impact provincial highways. Safety, research, and innovation are at the heart of our projects, enabling AMTA to bring key stakeholders together to lead research and develop new technologies that will significantly enhance the industry while reducing human and environmental impacts.   

About Nikola Corporation: 

Nikola Corporation’s mission is clear: pioneering solutions for a zero-emissions world. As an integrated truck and energy company, Nikola is transforming transportation and over-the-road freight services. With our Class 8 vehicles, including battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks, and our energy brand, HYLA, we are driving the advancement of the complete hydrogen refueling ecosystem. This encompasses supply, distribution, and dispensing, reflecting our commitment to sustainable practices and a cleaner future. Nikola is based in Phoenix, Arizona with a manufacturing facility in Coolidge, Arizona. 

About Alberta Innovates: 

Alberta Innovates manages nearly 1,300 projects in a portfolio valued at $1.33 billion. We work with innovators in all sectors of the economy and all corners of the province to drive entrepreneurship, applied research and industry development. With our impact-based funding programs and services, we are transforming energy systems for a net-zero world, promoting the responsible use of land and water, leveraging provincial strengths in agriculture, and contributing to improved health and well-being by harnessing digital tech and data. We are also advancing emerging technologies and strengthening entrepreneurship for a strong and diversified economy. We operate in 11 locations with more than one million sq. ft. of industrial testing and lab facilities, and 600 acres of farmland. We employ nearly 600 highly skilled scientists, business and technical professionals. From funding to commercialization, we are Alberta’s innovation engine! See what entrepreneurs say about our coaching and support.    

About PrairiesCan:  

PrairiesCan is the federal department that supports economic growth in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Its programs and services help businesses, not-for-profits and communities grow stronger. Its mandate is to support economic growth and diversification in the Prairie provinces and advance the interests of the region in national economic policy, programs and projects. Learn more at 

About Blackjacks Roadhouse: 

Blackjacks Roadhouse is a premier rest stop for truckers, offering a wide range of amenities and services tailored to the needs of the trucking community. Since opening its doors in December 2009, Blackjacks Roadhouse has established itself as a trusted destination for travelers seeking comfort and convenience during their journeys. With a commitment to continuous improvement, Blackjacks Roadhouse provides a welcoming environment complete with showers, laundry services, parking lot security, patios, a weigh scale, and a top-notch games room with 33 VLTs, a full bar, and a mezzanine area. Delighting patrons with delicious cuisine, Blackjacks Roadhouse strives to exceed expectations and provide a home away from home for truckers on the road. 

Edmonton Global