Republic Services, the second-largest recycling and waste removal company in the country, announced in August it ordered a minimum of 2,500 zero-emission trucks from Nikola Corp., the vehicle manufacturer that just broke ground for a massive factory in Coolidge.
Republic President Jon Vander Ark said, “Our agreement with Nikola represents the industry’s first large-scale commitment to fleet electrification. We expect to realize significant operating cost savings and environmental benefits from these trucks, and we are confident that our customers, communities and employees will benefit from our bold commitment.”
Phoenix-based Republic set a long-term goal last year of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 35% and is the first waste and recycling company to have its sustainability plan approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.
The order, expandable up to 5,000 trucks over the life of the agreement, anticipates on-road testing will begin in 2022 and delivery of the vehicles, straight from the Nikola factory to Republic Services, will begin the following year.
Nikola spokeswoman Nicole Rose said the company plans to produce the trucks in Coolidge, and the order will create more jobs at the factory, which has been projected to create up to 2,000 jobs in Pinal County by 2024.
The Nikola Tre chassis will form the core of the trucks, which are projected to have a single-charge range of 150 miles (and 1,200 garbage cans) and recharge overnight.
Nikola Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton said, “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. The Nikola Tre powertrain is ideal for the refuse market as it shares and uses the same batteries, controls, inverters and e-axle. By sharing the Tre platform, we can drive the cost down for both programs by using the same parts.”
Nikola said this is the largest single order in the waste transportation industry, valued at $1.2 billion, and signals Republic’s commitment to sustainability. The company said these vehicles will be much quieter than their diesel counterparts and overall will be less invasive to the neighborhoods they travel through.
The groundbreaking for the million-square-foot Coolidge factory was held July 23, at which point Milton said it would be ready to produce zero-emission vehicles within 14 months.