Nikola, Ryder severing exclusive hydrogen electric truck partnership

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Updated Jun 4, 2020
Nikola One dash
The production version of the Nikola truck will have a 21-inch display with software to help drivers optimize their routes and fuel stops at Nikola’s fuel network.

Nikola Corporation and Ryder System announced Friday the termination of their more than three-year-long exclusive partnership on Nikola’s forthcoming hydrogen electric semis.

Ryder in late 2016 inked a deal to serve as the exclusive distribution and maintenance provider for Nikola Motor Company (NMC), which unlocked Ryder’s North American network of more than 800 service locations to lessors and owners of Nikola tractors.

That deal has been mutually called off, enabling both companies “to explore emerging opportunities within the rapidly growing commercial transportation industry,” Nikola said via release last week.

“As the market evolves, each of us are now free to expand our operations to other partners,” said Nikola Corporation CEO Trevor Milton, “something the previous agreement did not allow us to do. We look forward to finding ways to continue to work with Ryder in the future as a customer and have found them to be a great partner.”

Milton said his company will now be working with “major truck dealerships” to sell and service Nikola trucks.

Nikola this week expects to complete a merger with VectoIQ Acquisition Corp., a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, that once closed will see the hydrogen and battery electric truck maker listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker NKLA. Milton will serve as Executive Chairman of the combined company.

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected].