Nikola, Republic Services end refuse truck project

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Updated Dec 29, 2020
Nikola received an order of 2,500 battery-electric refuse trucks, expandable to 5,000 trucks, from Republic Services.Nikola received an order of 2,500 battery-electric refuse trucks, expandable to 5,000 trucks, from Republic Services.

Nikola Corporation and Republic Services, the second largest recycling and solid waste provider in the U.S., have discontinued their collaboration on the development of a refuse truck, Nikola confirmed Wednesday.

Nikola announced in August it received a minimum order of 2,500 electrified refuse trucks from Republic Services, expandable up to 5,000 trucks. Full production deliveries were set for 2023 with on-road testing likely to begin in early 2022.

After further collaboration and review, the companies said the combination of the various new technologies and design concepts would result in longer than expected development time and unexpected costs. As a result, the program is being terminated and the previously announced vehicle order canceled.

“This was the right decision for both companies given the resources and investments required,” said Nikola CEO Mark Russell. “We support and respect Republic Services’ commitment to achieving environmentally responsible, sustainable solutions for their customers. Nikola remains laser-focused on delivering on our battery-electric and fuel-cell electric commercial truck programs, and the energy infrastructure to support them.”

Nikola’s roadmap calls for deliveries of its Nikola Tre battery-electric semi-truck in the U.S. next year. Nikola is also planning to break ground on its first commercial hydrogen station in 2021. The company’s fuel-cell-electric semi-trucks will be produced at Nikola’s Coolidge, Arizona, facility beginning in 2023.

Nikola last month signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with General Motors (GM), calling for the Detroit auto giant to provide fuel cell technology for Nikola’s commercial trucks. Under the terms of the MOU, Nikola and GM will jointly work on the integration of GM’s Hydrotec fuel-cell technology into Nikola’s Class 7 and Class 8 trucks.