Garbage Companies Eye Electric Trucks as Republic Services Announces Partnership with Nikola

Andrew Cummings
August 11, 2020

The agreement includes the option to grow to as many as 5,000 trucks.

Republic Services, an industry leader in US recycling and non-hazardous solid waste disposal. Refuse bodies will be installed in Nikola's plant rather than by a bodybuilder or upfitter. Milton believes that by more closely integrating the design and installation of the various components on the Nikola Tre chassis, significant savings in cost and complexity can be achieved.

"This will be the first zero-emissions refuse vehicle at scale industry, and our customers in all capacities - small businesses, municipalities, residents - have been asking for this", said Republic Services President Jon Vander Ark.

The company is aiming to start production of its Badger pickup truck in 2022 or earlier, which will compete with electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc's Cybertruck.

News of the order caused Nikola's stock to surge 22% on open and is now trading at 14%, as of writing.

"The Nikola Tre powertrain is ideal for the refuse market as it shares and uses the same batteries, controls, inverters and e-axle".

The electric trash trucks will be electronically limited to 1,000 horsepower - almost three times the power of similar trucks powered by compressed natural gas.

As orders roll in, Nikola is arranging manufacturing partnerships for several of its models. The refuse trucks are anticipated to carry up to 720 kWh of energy storage.

There are no plans for a hydrogen fuel cell refuse truck, but Milton said fuel cells would be considered if the chassis were to be developed for a roll-off application where more driving and more miles are involved. "This industry is the harshest industry out there but there's no better industry for electrification", Milton said. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the company's expectations regarding its projected refuse truck build and related specifications; the company's expectations for its trucks and market acceptance of electric refuse trucks; and market opportunity.

"There's going to be value for our shareholders over time", Vander Ark told CNN Business.

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