It was only in August that Nikola announced the Refuse, a truck specifically designed to cater for garbage disposal. At the time, the deal for 2,500 trucks from Republic Services made international headlines as Nikola added yet another product to their portfolio, before shipping their first to customers.
The truck was supposed to have a 720kWh battery and produce up to 1,000HP with a range of up to 150 mile range (241km). Testing was set to commence in 2022, with deliveries in 2023 and if things went well, there was a chance of an additional 2,500 orders.
The news today of the cancellation of Nikola’s Refuse, comes on the back of the recent cancellation of the Nikola Badger after General Motors withdrew from the deal and instead signed a simple supply agreement.
While being very public about the environmentally friend announcement with Nikola 4 months ago, you won’t find any details of this cancellation on the social channels for Republic Services, so it remains unclear if they’re committed to the electrification of their fleet.
As for Nikola, they have removed all reference to the Refuse from their site, with the previous URL, now linking to a 404 page, it seems Nikola was quick tor remove the refuse from their site. It is clear Nikola weren’t much further than a 3D render with the Refuse, with no attempt made to sell the truck to any of the other rubbish disposal companies around the world.
Strangely the also cancelled Badger remains present on the site.
The front page of Nikola’s website now features just 2 products, the all-electric Tre, which as recently been seen testing in the US and the Two which is their first Hydrogen-powered vehicle. Buried in the menus are pages for their Powersports line, the NZT, Reckless and Wav which raises the question, which unreleased product will be next to get the chop.
On the back of the news, Nikola stock took a hit, as much as 10%, now at just $15.03 per share for a total market cap of 5.77 Billion. This is down from a high of $93.99 earlier this year and a net worth of more than $34 Billion.
It’s been an unfortunate 2020 for Nikola who is pre-revenue and yet to ship a product to customers, but importantly lost its founder Trevor Milton in a shade of controversy, after making many unsubstantiated claims that were later exposed in the Hindenburg Report.
Nikola broke ground on their factory in Coolidge, Arizona back in August and 4 months in the 12-14 month timeline, they’re still struggling to get out of the ground, as shown by this drone footage from December 18th.
The most promising venture for the company is not even it’s Hydrogen efforts, rather the truck they had built by IVECO in Germany. At least one prototype of the battery-powered Tre has made its way to North America for testing. This is a long way from hitting the streets which is when the company could finally start to recognise some income.
Given this drawn out factory build and delivery of product, it begs the question, how many other Nikola ideas will get cancelled before they ever see the light of day.
I want to get excited for an EV manufacturer, especially one that goes after new verticals like jet skis, but I find it extremely unlikely that that product ever ships.