Date: December 23, 2020
Source: Nikola Corporation
Republic Services and electric truck maker Nikola said they have "discontinued their collaboration on refuse truck development," according to a press release. Last August they announced plans to design and build at least 2,500 fully-integrated electric collection vehicles for Republic. The trucks were expected to have a 150-mile range, up to 720 kilowatt hours of battery capacity, the ability to collect 1,200 cans on a single charge, and cost under $500,000. However, last week Nikola said "both companies determined that the combination of the various new technologies and design concepts would result in longer than expected development time, and unexpected costs."
The announcement may have been a more elegant way for Republic to back out of the deal following a scandal surrounding Nikola and its charismatic founder and chairman Trevor Milton. In September Milton stepped down after the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission started investigating allegations of fraud raised by short-seller Hindenburg Research. Milton and the company disputed many of the claims but admitted to staging a video showing a truck that appeared to be functional that in fact was not.
For its part Republic Services said it remains committed to electrification, citing continued collaborations with Mack Trucks, Peterbilt Motors and a recent investment in California start-up Romeo Systems. There are many factors driving the move to all electric including zero emissions, lower maintenance and total costs of ownership, quieter streets and regulatory forces in states like California.
December 23, 2020
Nikola and Republic Services End Collaboration on Refuse Truck
PHOENIX, December 23, 2020—Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) announced today that Nikola and Republic Services (NYSE: RSG) have discontinued their collaboration on refuse truck development.
The goal of the collaboration was to design and build an industry-first fully integrated refuse truck based on a zero-emissions battery-electric drive platform and body while also integrating multiple new systems into a new state-of-the-art vehicle.
After considerable collaboration and review, both companies determined that the combination of the various new technologies and design concepts would result in longer than expected development time, and unexpected costs. As a result, the program is being terminated resulting in the cancellation of the previously announced vehicle order.
"This was the right decision for both companies given the resources and investments required," said Nikola CEO Mark Russell. "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."
Nikola has laid out a roadmap that begins deliveries of Nikola Tre battery-electric semi-trucks in the US in 2021. Nikola is also planning to break ground on its first commercial hydrogen station in 2021. The company's fuel-cell-electric semi-trucks will be produced at Nikola's Coolidge, Arizona facility beginning in 2023.
ABOUT NIKOLA CORPORATION:
Nikola Corporation is globally transforming the transportation industry. As a designer and manufacturer of zero-emission battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and hydrogen station infrastructure, Nikola is driven to revolutionize the economic and environmental impact of commerce as we know it today. Founded in 2015, Nikola Corporation is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, visit www.nikolamotor.com or Twitter @nikolamotor.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain statements included in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as "believe," "may," "will," "estimate," "continue," "anticipate," "intend," "expect," "should," "would," "plan," "predict," "potential," "seem," "seek," "future," "outlook," and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, Nikola's belief that termination was the right decision for both parties; and Nikola's beliefs regarding the expected timing of delivery of various business milestones, including delivery of the Nikola Tre, breaking ground on Nikola's first commercial hydrogen station and commencement of production of fuel-cell-electric semi-trucks in Coolidge, Arizona. These statements are based on various assumptions and on the current expectations of Nikola's management and are not predictions of actual performance. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: risks related to the rollout of the company's business and the timing of expected business milestones, including production difficulties or delays; the effects of competition on the company's future business; the availability of capital; general economic, financial, legal, political and business conditions and changes in domestic and foreign markets; the potential effects of COVID-19; the impact of judicial, regulatory or administrative proceedings to which the company is, or may become a party; and the other risks discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in Nikola's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2020 other reports and documents Nikola files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If any of these risks materialize or Nikola's assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and Nikola specifically disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.