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WASHINGTON — Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) joined Phoenix-based truck manufacturer Nikola Corp. to showcase two electric trucks near the U.S. Capitol Building.
“Thank you for bringing these awesome trucks here to Washington, D.C.,” Stanton said. “How exciting it is to showcase Nikola’s cutting-edge trucks right here in our nation’s capital. I’m grateful for the leaders here in Washington who will see firsthand the work that Nikola is doing to address the challenges of climate change and to see how cleaner air can also create great jobs. That’s what we’re seeing in Arizona. My home state.”
Nikola had on display its Class 8 Tre battery-electric truck and its Class 8 Tre hydrogen fuel cell-electric truck.
Arizona Democratic Rep. Greg Stanton (left) and Nikola executive Pablo Koziner tout the environmental benefits of the two models. (Connor D. Wolf/Transport Topics)
“I’m incredibly excited to be here,” said Pablo Koziner, president of Nikola energy and commercial. “When we first started to produce the trucks, we had a vision when these things start to get produced and hit the roads, wouldn’t it be cool to come to Washington, D.C., and display them in front of the Capital Building. And here we are today, in such a short period of time.”
The battery-electric truck on display started being sold commercially in December. It has an approximate 350-mile range. The fuel cell truck, with an estimated range of 500 miles, will start to be commercialized at the end of 2023.
“For those of us that work in companies that are on the cutting edge, innovating like many other companies in America and the rest of the world, to be able to do this really strikes a chord emotionally,” Koziner said. “And, of course, we couldn’t do that without the great help of many partners, suppliers and certainly government officials and entities.”
Nikola, together with key federal agencies & representatives, showcased the #NikolaTreBEV & alpha #NikolaTreFCEV in Washington D.C. to highlight the importance of advancing market adoption for zero-emission vehicle technologies. Learn more: https://t.co/6JTP90s8z8— Nikola Motor Company (@nikolamotor) July 13, 2022
The Greater Washington Clean Cities, Calstart, the Fuel Cell Hydrogen Energy Association and the Clean Hydrogen Future Coalition joined the event. The groups have been working to reduce greenhouse emissions within the trucking industry by partnering with companies that develop and manufacture green technologies.
“At Nikola, we are absolutely committed to being part of a transition to clean heavy-duty transportation, which is so important as on-route transportation continues to grow in this country and around the world,” Koziner said. “To be able to do it in a way that creates a better driver experience, better efficiency, lower maintenance costs, and to do it with alternative forms of energy so that as you operate these trucks, they’re not producing emissions in our environment.”
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Stanton noted the transportation industry is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. He added that more than 80% of those emissions are due to cars as well as medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
“So there’s no question that for us to make climate gains in our country, that our planet so desperately needs, clean vehicles must be a meaningful part of the equation,” Stanton said. “The private sector, they’re taking the reins on creating new clean technology, but it will require strong federal investment for the United States to become a leader in the clean energy economy and to reduce the transportation sector’s climate impact.”
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law Nov. 15. The legislation primarily focused on providing funding for infrastructure projects, but it included provisions focused on clean energy initiatives such as the development of electric vehicles.
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“My state of Arizona, which is already experiencing the significant impact of climate change from extreme heat to the worst drought in 1,200 years, we are the epicenter for EV automotive manufacturing and Arizona’s EV sector is already experiencing real benefits from the investments made by the bipartisan infrastructure law,” Stanton said. “To make the leaps we need, we have to do more to advance the technology necessary.”
Stanton added that includes support for commercial vehicles to be low or zero emission. But he still sees challenges in reaching that goal. He pointed to electric trucks often being heavier while not being able to haul as much freight as traditional diesel-power trucks. Congress helped address this issue by providing a weight exemption for battery-electric vehicles.
“I have worked to build on this and to add zero-emission vehicles, including hydrogen vehicles, to this exemption,” Stanton said. “That would help make sure that clean technologies like those that are here today, that offer more sustainable fleets and energy efficiency, are competitive in the marketplace.
“This is just one example of the actions Congress can take to support further innovation and competitiveness of alternative fuel vehicles, including hydrogen,” he added. “And I’m proud of the work that Nikola is doing to revolutionize the transportation industry.”