Nikola Corporation, E.ON and Richter Group announced a Letter of Intent for an order of an initial 20 Class 8, heavy-duty Nikola Tre hydrogen electric vehicles and hydrogen needed to supply them.
Richter Group is a leading provider of individual logistics services comprising a hub and direct transport solutions for courier, express and parcel clients. Located in Germany, it currently owns a fleet of over 160 diesel-powered trucks with loading and unloading points in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom.
Nikola and E.ON intend to help Richter Group decarbonise its vehicle fleet by providing hydrogen electric trucks, the required green hydrogen and the refuelling infrastructure through a joint venture that is expected to be established in the upcoming weeks.
The initial 20 Nikola Tre hydrogen electric trucks are expected to be delivered to Richter Group in 2024. Richter Group intends to transition its entire fleet to Nikola Tre hydrogen electric trucks over the next four to five years and also plans to work with its logistics partners to convert fleets to Nikola’s zero-emission vehicles, which could equate to an additional 750 hydrogen electric trucks within that same timeframe.
The Nikola Tre hydrogen electric trucks in the European 6×2 variant will be manufactured by the joint venture between Nikola and Iveco Group at their facility in Ulm, Germany. Richter Group and its partners may purchase or lease part or all of the Nikola Tre hydrogen electric vehicles through IVECO’s all-inclusive electric truck rental model. IVECO will provide essential maintenance and service functions.
E.ON will provide Richter Group with green hydrogen and develop the refuelling infrastructure to meet the needs of the hydrogen electric vehicles brought to market. The first refuelling solution within the scope of this project will be located on the premises of Richter Group in Wesel, Germany. Both hydrogen supply and logistics will be supplied through the E.ON and Nikola Joint Venture once it is officially established.
“We plan to introduce the Nikola hydrogen electric trucks and other services of Nikola and E.ON to many of our partners to further promote and grow decarbonisation efforts in the European heavy-duty transport sector,” said Sylvio Richter, founder and CEO of Richter Group said. “This Letter of Intent is just the beginning. Through our technology subsidiary Sundronix GmbH, Richter Group will be working with Nikola and E.ON on technological solutions for the design and construction of a 700-bar refuelling infrastructure, hydrogen transport logistics, and hydrogen supply,” he underlined.
Gabriël Clemens, CEO of Green Gas E.ON and Managing Director of E.ON Hydrogen, pointed out that hydrogen is the required link and a leading opportunity to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors, which includes heavy-duty transportation. “We plan to deliver up to 225 tonnes of green hydrogen per annum for the initial 20 Nikola Tre hydrogen electric trucks and significantly increase the amount over the next four to five years,” he said.
Implementing the initial order of 20 heavy-duty zero-emission trucks in place of existing diesel trucks equates to avoiding the annual CO2 emissions from approximately 600 passenger cars, revealed Michael Lohscheller, President and CEO of Nikola Corporation.
“With a range of up to 800 km and an estimated fueling time of less than 20 minutes based on planned technology improvements, the Nikola Tre hydrogen electric truck is expected to have the longest range of all commercially available zero tailpipe emission Class 8 trucks while realising weight savings when compared to battery-electric Class 8 trucks with similar range,” added the CEO of Nikola.