Nikola to make 2,500 electric waste trucks

EV startup Nikola is to partner with US waste collector Republic Services to make 2,500 electric waste trucks.

Republic Services is one of the largest recycling and solid waste providers in the US. The deal is expandable up to 5,000 vehicles over the life of the agreement.

Deliveries are to begin in 2023, with on-road testing likely to begin in early 2022. The refuse trucks are anticipated to carry up to 720kWh of energy storage.

“Nikola specialises in heavy-duty, zero-emission Class 8 trucks. The refuse market is one of the most stable markets in the industry and provides long-term shareholder value,” said Nikola founder and executive chairman Trevor Milton. “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.”

“This is a game changer,” said Nikola CEO, Mark Russell. “Refuse truck customers have always ordered chassis from truck OEMs and bodies from other suppliers. 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.”

The powertrain software will be limited to 1,000 HP and is expected to outperform current diesel and natural gas competitors. The new platform can give refuse trucks nearly three-times the HP of natural gas and diesel options, giving operators the ability to go up hills with full loads without issue — a challenge natural gas vehicle manufacturers have been working to solve.