Nikola Delivers First Truck for Market Built in Coolidge

Nikola Motor Company delivered the first zero-emission truck built for production at its Coolidge factory to a Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach freight company on Dec. 17.

The Nikola Tre BEV (battery-operated vehicle) is designed for local deliveries up to 350 miles and was delivered to Total Transportation Services, Inc. (TTSI), which signed a letter of intent with the Phoenix-based manufacturer in May.

This is the first of four tractor-trailers to be delivered for the transportation services’ pilot program under that agreement, two battery-powered and two driven by hydrogen fuel cells.

Its arrival was greeted by U.S. Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán, D-Calif., State Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Dist. 35, and representatives of numerous elected officials and agencies.

“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,” 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.”

Based on the performance of the first four vehicles and TTSI’s acquiring additional government funding, up to 30 more BEVs are expected to be delivered during 2022, followed by 70 fuel-cell vehicles beginning in 2023.

Vic LaRosa, President of TTSI, said, “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.”

Nikola purchased 400 acres within the Inland Port Arizona development on the southern edge of Coolidge in March 2019, beginning construction in July 2020 and producing demonstration vehicles while the factory is completed. It’s eventually projected to cover at least 1 million square feet.

The Nikola Corporation stated in its third-quarter report in November that it is negotiating a $125 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the SEC’s investigation of the company after charging founder and former CEO Trevor Milton with making false and misleading statements.