Proterra to supply batteries for Nikola Trucks

Nikola has signed a multi-year contract with Proterra for batteries. Nikola Tre BEV and FCEV trucks will forthwith house Proterra battery systems.

Proterra is to deliver the first prototype systems from the second quarter of 2022. The first Nikola tractor units with Proterra batteries are expected to be produced in the fourth quarter of 2022. The companies have not revealed the time frame of the agreement or how many battery systems will be delivered.

Demand for Nikola’s vehicles is growing which has prompted the cooperation with the US battery systems specialists. “With the growing demand for the Nikola Tre BEV and FCEV, we have actively pursued battery supply through a dual-source strategy,” says Mark Russell, CEO of Nikola. Nikola entered into an agreement with Romeo Power in the summer of 2020 to supply batteries for the prototype electric trucks, it is not entirely clear if Romeo Power is the source Russell is referring to.

Only a week ago, Nikola announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Covenant Logistics Group, based in Chattanooga in the US state of Tennessee. In this agreement, Nikola is to supply ten battery-electric units as well as 40 vehicles of the fuel cell version of the Nikola Tre truck model with the prerequisite of the successful test deployment of the first ten test vehicles. The first test vehicles of the BEV version are to be delivered to Covenant from the second quarter of 2022, followed by the first fuel cell trucks from 2023.

Nikola had concluded similar agreements for a total of up to 300 BEV trucks with the companies Heniff Transportation Systems, USA Truck and Saia TL Freight. However, these are exclusively the battery-electric version, while the majority of Covenant’s MOU is for the hydrogen version of the Nikola Tre.

Nikola delivered its first battery-electric trucks in the US last December to logistics company Total Transportation Services (TSSI), which serves the Californian ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The delivery was preceded by a letter of intent and a pilot project.

Nikola’s pilot customer in Europe is to be the Port of Hamburg this year with up to 25 BEV trucks. For Europe, the Nikola Tre will be manufactured by Iveco in Ulm.

Proterra recently signed a multi-year supply agreement with Canadian commercial vehicle builder Vicinity Motor. The company’s battery systems will power the 28-foot Vicinity Lightning electric transit bus and a Vicinity commercial vehicle platform (“strip chassis platform”).


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