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August 10, 2020 2:30 PM, EDT

Nikola Secures Order From Republic Services for at Least 2,500 Vehicles

Nikola TreThe refuse trucks will be built on the platform of its Class 8 Tre model, according to Nikola, and the truck chassis and body will be provided directly to Republic Services from the Nikola factory. (Nikola Corp.)

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Nikola Corp. announced it received a minimum order for 2,500 heavy-duty electrified refuse trucks from Republic Services Inc. that could expand to 5,000 over the life of the agreement. Deliveries are scheduled for 2023 with on-road testing likely to begin in early 2022.

The refuse trucks will be built on the platform of its Class 8 Tre model, according to Nikola, and the truck chassis and body will be provided directly to Republic Services from the Nikola factory. The refuse trucks are anticipated to carry up to 720 kilowatt hours of energy storage and have a range of up to 150 miles.

Both companies are based in Phoenix. Nikola is building a truck plant in nearby Coolidge, Ariz., where it will initially make the Tre and later add Nikola’s Class 8 hydrogen fuel trucks.

“The Nikola Tre powertrain is ideal for the refuse market as it shares and uses the same batteries, controls, inverters and e-axle. By sharing the Tre platform, we can drive the cost down for both programs by using the same parts,” Nikola founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton said in a release. “You couldn’t pick a better partner than Republic Services, a leader in long-term environmental sustainability and customer service.”

Republic Services is the second-largest recycling and solid waste management provider in the U.S. and is recognized as an industry leader in providing environmentally responsible and sustainable solutions to its customers.

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“Our agreement with Nikola represents the industry’s first large-scale commitment to fleet electrification. We expect to realize significant operating cost savings and environmental benefits from these trucks, and we are confident that our customers, communities and employees will benefit from our bold commitment,” Republic President Jon Vander Ark said in a release.

Among the many anticipated benefits of fleet electrification are instant torque, no idling, regenerative braking, up to 90% lower emissions on a per-mile basis and quieter operation in neighborhoods, as well as significantly lower maintenance costs, according to Republic.

Nikola President Mark Russell called the order a game-changer.

“Refuse truck customers have always ordered chassis from truck original equipment manufacturers and bodies from other suppliers,” he said. “Nikola has fully integrated the chassis and body, covering both with a single factory warranty. Trucks will include both automated side loaders and front-end loaders, all of which will be zero-emission.”

My generation is tired of pollution, tired of the noise, and ultimately, they want things that are packaged nicely, that are sexy, that solve environmental-impact problems.

Trevor Milton, founder and executive chairman of Nikola Corp.

Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola Motor Co.

On Twitter, Milton called the order “binding” and worth $1 billion to $2 billion.

Nikola’s stock closed at $36.72 on Aug. 7. It jumped during trading to $43.43 on Aug. 10, the day of the announcement.

Until this order, Nikola’s largest announced customer was Anheuser-Busch. In May 2018, the beverage company placed an order for up to 800 hydrogen-electric powered heavy-duty day cabs from Nikola as it said it was moving to convert its dedicated fleet to trucks powered by renewable energy sources.

Milton, 38, said at the time: “My generation is tired of pollution, tired of the noise, and ultimately, they want things that are packaged nicely, that are sexy, that solve environmental-impact problems. They want to leave this place better than their predecessors.”

Nikola designs and manufactures zero-emission battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems and hydrogen station infrastructure.

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