PHOENIX — Nikola Corp. is collaborating with Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI), a port trucking company, to expedite zero-emission transportation at the port of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the companies announced in early May. The collaboration includes vehicle trials and a letter of intent (LOI) from TTSI to order 100 Nikola Class 8 battery-electric vehicle (BEV) and fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) semi-trucks.
The Nikola Tre BEV is designed for local deliveries up to 350 miles. The Nikola Tre FCEV truck is targeted for distances up to 500 miles and is expected to address most of the North American regional market, especially when additional freight hauling capacity and quick fueling are required by fleet operators.
“The Nikola Tre trucks are exactly the type of zero-emission solution we need to be using at the port,” said Vic LaRosa, president of TTSI. “Our trucks operate for 18 to 20 hours a day, making the benefits of the Nikola portfolio a perfect match for our needs. The expected availability of the BEV aligns with our desire to reach our sustainability goals quickly and the FCEV is ideal for longer-range applications. Nikola’s value proposition of the truck and hydrogen fuel bundled together made this partnership even more appealing to our leadership team.”
The LOI calls for the purchase of 100 zero-emission trucks, beginning with a four-truck pilot — consisting of two BEVs and two FCEVs — beginning during the first half of 2022. Based on completion of the vehicle trials and subject to TTSI obtaining certain government funding, the purchase of 30 BEVs is projected to follow later in 2022, and delivery of 70 FCEVs is anticipated to start in 2023.
“TTSI’s decision to utilize both Nikola BEV and FCEV vehicles speaks to their forward-looking and strategic mindset in covering a variety of hauling distances and loads, while still contributing to California’s clean-air initiatives,” said Michael Erickson, Nikola’s global head of BEV business unit. “We applaud TTSI’s commitment to a zero-emission future and are eager to help fulfill that vision with Nikola zero-emission vehicles.”
According to TTSI, in any given month, 13,000 to 14,000 trucks call at the port of Los Angeles and Long Beach, emitting roughly 2,600 tons per year of smog-causing nitrogen-oxide emissions. This location and transportation use case represent one of the largest opportunities in California to make a significant impact for the transition to sustainable transportation.
“The drayage and port operations present an excellent use case for BEV and FCEV trucks where operational efficiency cannot be compromised,” said Jason Roycht, Nikola’s global head of FCEV business unit. “We hope to jointly demonstrate with TTSI the advantages of both technologies during vehicle trials at the port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The planned conversion of the TTSI fleet over the next several years will provide a roadmap to implement zero-emission trucking that we hope many in Southern California will follow.”
The collaboration is subject to negotiation and execution of definitive documentation acceptable to the parties.