German logistics services provider Richter Group has partnered with clean transportation solutions provider Nikola and energy firm E.ON to decarbonize its heavy-duty fleet.
Under the deal, E.ON and Nikola will support Richter’s efforts by providing hydrogen electric trucks, the required green hydrogen, and the refuelling infrastructure through a joint venture (JV) that will be established soon.
As part of this collaboration, Richter has signed a letter of intent for an initial order of 20 20 Class 8, heavy-duty Nikola Tre hydrogen electric vehicles and the necessary green hydrogen to power them. The trucks are expected to be delivered in 2024.
Richter plans to transition its entire fleet of 160 trucks to Nikola Tre hydrogen electric trucks in the next four to five years. Additionally, it plans to work with its logistics partners to convert fleets to Nikola's zero-emission vehicles, which could result in an additional 750 hydrogen electric trucks within that same timeframe.
The Nikola Tre hydrogen electric trucks in the European 6x2 variant will be manufactured by a JV between Nikola and Iveco Group at a facility in Ulm, Germany. The vehicles will be available to be acquired through IVECO’s electric truck rental model, GATE. IVECO will also provide maintenance and service functions as part of this model.
E.ON will provide green hydrogen and develop the necessary refuelling infrastructure, with the first refuelling solution to be located at Richter’s premises in Wesel, Germany. Both hydrogen supply and logistics will be supplied though the Nikola-E.ON JV.
“This letter of intent is just the beginning,” Sylvio Richter, Founder and CEO of Richter Group, said. “Through our technology subsidiary Sundronix, 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."
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Many of these same companies are engaged in a transition to fleet electrification. With heavy-duty trucks and long routes, some believe hydrogen is best suited as a carbon-reduction fuel because of its energy density and shorter refueling periods.
The Nikola Tre hydrogen electric trucks have a range of up to 800 km, making it one of the zero tailpipe emission Class 8 trucks with the longest range currently available in the market. Moreover, it is said to provide weight-saving advantages over battery-electric Class 8 trucks that offer a similar range.
“The commitment from Richter Group is another example of how Nikola and E.ON are playing an essential role in helping Germany achieve the goal of decarbonizing the transportation sector,” Michael Lohscheller, President and CEO of Nikola, 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.”