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Nikola 1,000 HP Electric Truck Contract Gets Trashed by Republic Services

It’s been a tough year for all of us, but at a corporate level, few had it as rough as Nikola. The electric vehicle startup saw everything it worked on for years come crashing down over the past few months.
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It all started at a time when the company was riding the high wave. In the first eight months of the year, it managed to strike a mammoth deal with GM for the production of the Badger electric pickup; then it landed another one with America’s second-largest recycling and solid waste collection company, Republic Services, for the delivery of 2,500 refuse trucks.

Then came September with the damning report from Hindenburg Research, and everything fell apart: first, GM announced it is pretty much pulling out of the deal it signed, and now Republic is doing the same, effectively canceling the order for the trucks.

The announcement of yet another contract biting the dust was made by Nikola itself. The official reason is that after careful consideration, it was found “the combination of the various new technologies and design concepts would result in longer than expected development time, and unexpected costs.”

“This was the right decision for both companies given the resources and investments required,” said in a statement 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.”

As per the initial deal, hailed as a game-changer at the time by the company’s top brass, road testing of the electric refuse truck should have started in early 2022. Production would have kicked off shortly after, and deliveries were expected in 2023. Each truck was supposed to have a range of 150 miles (241 km) and a power output of 1,000 hp.

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