Tesla should take note.
Nikola Motors is one of several smaller automakers anxious to enter the all-electric pickup truck segment. The Tesla Cybertruck won't only have competition from Ford and GM, but also the Nikola Badger. And like the upcoming Tesla Semi, Nikola intends to introduce industrial trucks. In fact, it has just announced it's made a deal to sell a minimum of 2,500 electrified garbage trucks to Arizona-based Republic Services. The deal is expandable for up to 5,000 trucks and the first deliveries are slated to begin in 2023. On-road testing will get underway first, sometime in 2022.
These garbage trucks will supposedly outperform both diesel and natural gas alternatives in both horsepower and torque and can drive up to 150 miles and 1,200 cans of garbage on a single charge. The new trucks' powertrain will be limited to 1,000 horsepower, which is nearly three times the horsepower of natural gas and diesel-powered trucks.
"Nikola specializes 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."
This all sounds very interesting, but here's the thing: no one outside of these companies has even seen the truck. All that's been provided so far is a single rendered image (shown above). Nikola's stock increased by 22 percent since the deal with Republic Services was announced, so evidently it's being met with great enthusiasm.
Republic Services also happens to be the second-largest recycling and solid waste provider in the US, so the fact it's teamed up with Nikola for an electrified future is a pretty big deal. "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."