PGT Trucking Delivers Nucor Steel Using Nikola Truck
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PGT Trucking, an Aliquippa, Pa.-based flatbed transportation company, announced on May 29 it had delivered its inaugural shipment of low-greenhouse-gas steel (GHG), produced by Charlotte-based steel manufacturer Nucor, using a Nikola Class 8 battery-electric, zero-emission vehicle.
The delivery on May 25 was from Nucor’s new Brandenburg, Ky., facility to a nearby fabricator as part of what Nucor says is a part of its sustainable shipping solutions program.
“PGT Trucking is proud to partner with companies like Nikola and Nucor who share a common vision and commitment to a greener future,” said PGT Trucking President Gregg Troian. “We are confident that these relationships will help guide PGT’s Future of Flatbed initiatives, allowing us to reach our goal of a 35% reduction in emissions of our company-owned equipment by the year 2025.”
PGT Trucking says its move to use Nikola’s vehicles is part of its strategy to lower its overall carbon emissions.
PGT Trucking ranks No. 98 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.
According to business consulting company McKinsey, every ton of steel produced in 2018 emitted on average 1.85 tons of carbon dioxide, equating to about 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says steel production accounts for 80% of that 8%.
“For more than five decades, Nucor has been built on the sustainable model of producing steel with a low-carbon footprint,” Nucor Executive Vice President Al Behr said. “Even though we are one of the cleanest steelmakers in the world, we know we need to continue to lower our greenhouse gas intensity. This partnership with PGT and Nikola is just one example of the innovative ways Nucor is working to reduce its carbon emissions.”
I’m proud to represent @nikolamotor together with @PGTTrucking and @NucorCorp next week at the Brandenburg Kentucky plant where we will haul the first loads of steel on Nikola BEVs!! More to come for this awesome achievement for the US steel industry!
https://t.co/87AMQz2z98pic.twitter.com/5sz9WxKxbH — Jason Roycht (@JasonRoycht) May 19, 2023
Nucor says it has installed charging stations at multiple mills, including the Brandenburg facility, to enable the use of battery-electric flatbed trucks. It is estimated that a shorthaul delivery made using this truck will reduce carbon emissions by 40% and create a 20% savings in energy cost, per trip.
According to a recent study by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), if 50% of the heavy-duty regional-haul tractors were replaced with battery-electric trucks, the industry could save an estimated 29.4 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually.
This time of transition is already underway, NACFE Executive Director Mike Roeth recently told Transport Topics.
“Trucking is decarbonizing,” he said. “We are doing it in a lot of different ways, from the better efficiency of diesel trucks, going to zero with battery-electric and hydrogen, and finally looking at these alternatives in the messy middle.”
Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America, discusses what it takes to make electric vehicles successful in the trucking industry. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
The so-called messy middle that Roeth is referencing concerns a February 2023 report written by Roeth and NACFE’s staff, examining the myriad powertrain decisions trucking companies will face on the industry’s journey toward decarbonization.
The report, dubbed “The Messy Middle: A Time for Action,” examines the long period of transition from today’s diesel-powered trucks to a future state when the industry has fully shifted to zero-emission freight movement.
“Nikola is proud to partner with PGT Trucking to play a role in Nucor’s inaugural shipment of low-GHG intensity steel with our Class 8 Tre battery-electric truck,” said Jason Roycht, Nikola’s global head of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Market Development. “This level of teamwork between product manufacturer, transportation provider and vehicle manufacturer is exactly what it will take to evolve the industry to zero-emission trucking. We look forward to continuing this journey with PGT Trucking and Nucor.”
For Nikola, teaming with PGT Trucking and Nucor is a piece of good news as the Phoenix-based electric and hydrogen fuel vehicle manufacturer has struggled to meet its financial goals and grow its business.
Nikola Corp. tumbled May 25 after Nasdaq Inc. notified the company that it isn’t in compliance with the minimum bid requirements to remain listed on the exchange. Shares of the electric truck maker sank 20%, the most since November 2020. The stock is down 72% this year as of the May 25 close of 62 cents.
Companies on the exchange that aren’t able to maintain a minimum closing price of $1 per share for 30 consecutive business days risk getting delisted. Nikola’s shares haven’t traded above $1 since April 11.
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It is the latest obstacle for the zero-emission vehicle startup that has faced high-level executive departures recently and has exited Europe to focus on its home turf in the United States.
However, PGT Trucking’s leadership says it believes zero-emission trucks are the way to go.
“By aligning our business objectives with those of our customers, PGT is advancing the transportation industry to move more freight in an efficient and environmentally clean manner,” added Troian.
PGT Trucking Inc. was founded in 1981 as a multiservice transportation firm offering flatbed, dedicated, international and specialized services. According to the company, PGT operates more than 1,000 power units and 1,500 trailers.