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Nikola shares surge as much as 22% on garbage truck order for Republic Services

Shares of Nikola Corp. surged by as much as 22% Monday morning after the company confirmed an order of thousands of all-electric refuse trucks for Republic Services.

The order includes 2,500 electrified chassis, with the option to increase the order up to 5,000 units, the aspiring zero-emissions truck manufacturer said in a release. The company expects manufacturing and testing of the trucks to being in early 2022, followed by deliveries in 2023.

The company’s shares jumped 22% in morning trading to an intraday high of $44.80 a share before retrenching to around $41 a share, or about 12%. 

The announcment of a commercial order is one of three milestones Nikola promised investors it would deliver on this year. The others are partnerships for manufacturing of its all-electric Badger pickup and hydrogen fueling stations for its semi-trucks.  

Nikola founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton in a statement said the “refuse market is one of the most stable markets in the industry and provides long-term shareholder value.”

Nikola says the truck is expected to offer up to 150 miles on a single charge, according to a release. The truck is expected to outperform current diesel and natural gas competitors, according to the company.

CEO and founder of U.S. Nikola, Trevor Milton speaks during presentation of its new full-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell battery trucks in partnership with CNH Industrial, at an event in Turin, Italy December 2, 2019.

Massimo Pinca | Reuters

Nikola said the order is the largest “in the waste industry and signals Republic Services’ commitment to zero-emission vehicles.”

“This is a game changer,” Nikola CEO Mark Russell said in a release. “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.”

Nikola went public June 4 after a reverse merger with VectoIQ, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company headed by former General Motors Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky. Its stock has been a roller coaster ride since then.

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