Nikola stock surges on order for 2,500 electric garbage trucks

Electric truck maker Nikola announced an order for 2,500 garbage trucks, which sent the startup’s stock soaring today. The order is expected to begin construction in 2023, with on-road testing scheduled for 2022.

Republic Services placed the order, which is expandable up to 5,000 trucks. The company is said to be the second-largest recycling and waste service provider in the United States.

News of the order caused Nikola’s stock to surge 22% on open and is currently trading at 14%, as of writing. Nikola hit the market earlier this year and became a darling as it popped from its initial public offering of $10.16 to $93.99 in a few weeks.

According to a press release, the electric trucks are expected to use Nikola’s Tre powertrain system and offer 150 miles on a charge in this implementation. The battery pack is said to carry up to 720kWh of energy storage, while the powertrain will be software limited to 1,000 HP. Nikola is tasked with building and assembling the truck chassis and body.

“This is a game changer,” said Nikola CEO Mark Russell, in a released statement. “Refuse truck customers have always ordered chassis from truck OEMs and bodies from other suppliers. Nikola has fully integrated the chassis and body, covering both with a single factory warranty. Trucks will include both automated side loaders and front-end loaders — all of which will be zero-emission.”

Industrial markets such as garbage trucks offer electric vehicle makers a large area of opportunity where companies can implement technology with less stringent design requirements. Garbage companies care more about ability than form factor.

Along with the industrial Tre powertrain, Nikola has plans for a consumer pickup named the Nikola Badger. This vehicle is currently available for pre-order and available in two flavors, the battery version with a purported 300 mile range, and the fuel cell version with a range said to be up 600 miles.