Zero emission vehicle start up Nikola has announced a minimum order of 2,500 electrified refuse trucks for a major US waste disposal company with the order possibly scaling up to 5000 trucks.

According to Nikola the order from waste company, Republic Services,  will see full production deliveries in 2023 and on-road testing likely to begin early next year.

The battery electric garbage trucks  will boast a massive  720kWh of energy storage on boards which is believed to be an industry leading battery capacity

“The refuse market is one of the most stable markets in the industry and provides long-term shareholder value,” said Nikola founder and executive chairman Trevor Milton.

“The Nikola Tre powertrain is ideal for the refuse market as it shares and uses the same batteries, controls, inverters and e-axle and by sharing the Tre platform, we can drive the cost down for both programs by using the same parts” said Milton.

“You couldn’t pick a better partner than Republic Services, which is a leader in long-term environmental sustainability and customer service and it will help us ensure the Nikola Tre meets customer and fleet lifecycle demands and we are excited to have them participate in the design process,” he added.

Republic Services is the second largest recycling and solid waste provider in the U.S. and is recognised as an industry leader in providing environmentally responsible, sustainable solutions to its customers.

“This is a game changer,  refuse truck customers have always ordered chassis from truck OEMs and bodies from other suppliers, “ said Nikola CEO, Mark Russell.

“Nikola has fully integrated the chassis and body, covering both with a single factory warranty, with the trucks including both automated side loaders and front-end loadersall of which will be zero-emission,” Russell added.

Nikola says the powertrain software will be limited to 1,000 horsepower and is expected to outperform current diesel and natural gas competitors.

It added that the new platform can give refuse trucks nearly three-times the horsepower of natural gas and diesel options, giving operators the ability to go up hills with full loads without issue — a challenge natural gas vehicle manufacturers have been working to solve.