Nikola Motor has lost its major order for electric garbage trucks. The order for a minimum of 2,500 battery-electric refuse trucks was cancelled by the American waste management company Republic Services.
This has been a tough year for Nikola Motor. Following the take-down attempt by the shortseller Hindenburg Research, which published some serious fraud allegations in September, CEO Trevor Milton resigned a week later. This also impacted the planned production deal with General Motors for the electric pickup by Nikola, although it has not been officially cancelled. Finally, investor Bosch reduced their investment at the beginning of December, putting further pressure on the startup.
Now, another heavy blow to Nikola’s planned production has hit, as the order received from Republic Services in August was cancelled. Republic Services is the second-largest waste management company in the US, and had placed an order for at least 2,500 battery-electric garbage trucks with an option for 2,500 more.
Now Nikola announced that the deal has been cancelled. The reason given is that after a thorough review, both companies found that the development of the electric refuse trucks would take longer than originally expected and lead to unexpected costs. The development cooperation was therefore terminated, which also lead to the cancellation of the vehicle order.
However, Nikola Motor is not done yet, as CEO Mark Russel stated: “This was the right decision for both companies given the resources and investments required. 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.”
The company also plans to begin deliveries of the Nikola Tre battery-electric semi-trucks in the US in 2021, as well as to break ground on its first commercial hydrogen station in 2021. The fuel-cell-electric version of the semi-trucks will be produced at Nikola’s factory in Coolidge, Arizona beginning in 2023, according to Nikola Motor.
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