The electric startup Nikola Corporation is poised to enter the American battery-electric vehicle (BEV) fleet market with an order of 100 Nikola Tre trucks for TTSI's zero-emissions fleet.
Nikola delivered the first BEV pilot trucks on Dec. 17 to Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI), which operates in the port and port areas of Los Angeles and Long Beach and has long had a commitment to reducing emissions.
As President Biden recently committed to an electric future for federal government fleets, several representatives from California were on hand to help take delivery as part of the induction ceremony, including Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (California's 44th district), state senator Steven Bradford, as well as several leaders from the House of Representatives. California Gov. Gavin Newsom sent a representative from the Office of Business and Economic Development, and several organizations were also present, including representatives from the Port of Los Angeles, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Coalition for Clean Air, and Calstart.
Guests were able to learn about and experience the Nikola Tre firsthand.
“Nikola committed to make its first Tre BEV deliveries in Q4 2021 and it is a big honor to celebrate this milestone with our partner, TTSI, and dignitaries who are committed to advancing zero-emission transportation solutions to reduce truck emissions in port operations,” said Nikola CEO Mark Russell. “TTSI has significant sustainability goals, and we are pleased to help them achieve their vision with our zero-emission trucks.”
As previously reported, TTSI's LOI is for 100 zero-emission trucks and that process begins with a four-vehicle pilot of two BEVs and two FCEVs. Once initial vehicle trials and subject to obtaining some government funding, 30 more BEVs are slated for delivery in 2022, with 70 FCEVs to follow in 2023.
The Nikola Tre is designed for local deliveries up to 350 miles, a higher EPA projection than many new and upcoming EVs. The Nikola Tre FCEV truck is meant for longer distances, stretching the range to 500 miles. The FCEV from Nikola is expected to help bolster the American regional market where additional hauling capacity and/or quick fueling is required by fleet operators.
“This day represents a major step in our continual quest to achieve a zero-emission fleet, which is why TTSI highly values its partnership with Nikola. Production, performance, and maintenance will be the key to our future success, and we are confident Nikola will excel on all three fronts,” said Vic LaRosa, president of TTSI.
Smog and particulate matter are real problems for California's busy ports. According to TTSI, 13,000-14,000 trucks call at the Los Angeles/Long Beach port every month, blasting roughly 2,600 tons of smog-causing nitrogen-oxide emissions. TTSI said in a release that the company is thrilled to be at the vanguard of fighting climate change in southern California and partnering with an American company to reduce emissions and help forge a more sustainable (and breathable) future.
Nikola also plans for European ports. In September 2021, Nikola and Iveco signed a deal with the Hamburg Port Authority in Germany to deliver up to 25 Nikola Tre BEVs to that port throughout 2022.
“Reaching a zero-emission transportation future requires bold leadership and collaboration from federal, state, and local partners, along with major investments from the private sector,” Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán said. “This is crucial for the health of people living in the communities near the ports in my district, who suffer higher rates of cancer, asthma, and other respiratory diseases due to all the toxic diesel emissions coming from the equipment and trucks at the ports. I appreciate the commitment TTSI and Nikola have made at the Port of Los Angeles to a cleaner, safer future.”