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Republic Services is ordering 2,500 battery-electric truck garbage truck chassis from Nikola Corp. The record order justifies the startup electric truck maker's decision to build its cabover Tre model in the United States after it launches in Europe next year.
The order could expand to up to 5,000 trucks, Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) said in a press release Monday. Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE: RSG) is the second-largest recycling and solid waste provider in the U.S. It trails Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM). The release did not place a dollar value on the order.
Deliveries from Nikola's new $600 million greenfield assembly plant in Coolidge, Arizona, are expected to begin in 2023. On-road testing is likely in early 2022. The expected driving range is 150 miles. That would allow the emptying of 1,200 trash cans, Nikola said.
Tre production for Europe begins in 2021 in a joint venture in Germany between Nikola and Italian truck maker IVECO. Nikola will produce hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric trucks in Arizona beginning in late 2023.
Republic is currently testing a single electrified Mack LR Electric refuse truck.
A Game-Changer For Nikola
"This is a game-changer," said Nikola CEO Mark Russell. "Refuse truck customers have always ordered chassis from truck original equipment manufacturers and bodies from other suppliers."
Nikola integrates the chassis and body under a single factory warranty. The rucks will include zero-emission automated side loaders and front-end loaders.
The refuse trucks are expected to carry up to an industry-leading 720-kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy storage. At 1,000 horsepower, the trucks offer three times as much horsepower as current diesel and natural gas competitors, Nikola said.
"The Nikola Tre powertrain is ideal for the refuse market as it shares and uses the same batteries, controls, inverters and e-axle," Nikola founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton said. "By sharing the Tre platform, we can drive the cost down for both programs by using the same parts."
Republic Services will participate in the Tre design that will be used for the refuse haulers.
Nikola CEO Mark Russell hinted at a big commercial deal during the company's second-quarter earnings call with analysts on Aug. 4. North American customers expressed interest in the Tre, originally planned only for Europe, when shown the cabover truck last year, Russell said in a virtual press conference on July 22.
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