Nikola and Republic scrap electric trash truck


Electric truck developer Nikola Corporation and trash hauling company Republic Services have scrapped their collaboration on refuse truck development.

The pair was working to design and build a refuse truck based on a zero-emissions battery-electric drive platform and body.

A statement said that after “considerable collaboration and review,” both companies agreed that combining technologies and design concepts “would result in longer than expected development time, and unexpected costs.”

In August, Republic Services agreed to buy 2,500 electric trash trucks from Nikola with the potential for up to 5,000 orders. Initial testing was to have begun in Arizona and California, with wider-scale testing in 2022 and full deployment by 2023.

The vehicles were expected to have a 150-mile range, up to 720 kWh of battery capacity and the ability to collect 1,200 cans with one charge. Nikola Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton told the Wall Street Journal last summer he expected each unit to cost less than $500,000. Milton stepped down from the company last fall after the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission started investigating allegations of fraud raised by short-seller Hindenburg.

In announcing the end of its venture with Republic, Nikola said it still plans to start delivering Nikola Tre battery-electric semi-trucks in 2021. The company said it is also planning to break ground on its first commercial hydrogen station next year. Future plans call for the company’s fuel-cell-electric semi-trucks to be produced at an Arizona facility beginning in 2023.

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