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June 15, 2020
Investors Flocking to the Electric Truck Market
Source: TechCrunch
The electric truck market is heating up and Wall Street is taking notice. Last week, EV and fuel-cell truck startup Nikola merged with a publicly traded acquisition company called VectoIQ  and saw their stock prices surge 104 percent after the company announced it would begin taking orders for its first passenger vehicle offering, the Badger, on June 29th. The announcement doubled Nikola’s total valuation as it soared past both Ford and Fiat-Chrysler at the high point reached on June 10th.

The Badger is a ZEV pickup truck that will be available as either an all-electric or a hydrogen fuel cell and battery-powered hybrid. The hybrid version promises an astronomical 600-mile combined range and isn’t expected to enter production until 2021. In the meantime, Nikola is working to bring their all-electric and fuel-cell freight trucks to market. The company has already logged $14 billion in pre-orders from companies like Anheuser-Busch and Ryder Systems.

Not be outdone, Tesla CEO Elon Musk issued a memo calling for “volume production” of their heavy-duty Semi. The memo sets up a potential race between the two companies with Tesla preparing to make the first deliveries of the Semi in 2021 and Nikola working to reach full production by 2022. Several outlets are citing the memo as the key driver behind yet another windfall for Tesla shareholders when the stock price surpassed $1,000 for the first time on June 10th.

The zero-emission truck market is growing and Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that heavy-duty ZEV trucks will make up 10 percent of sales across the global market by 2040. While battery-electric vehicles are expected to edge out other zero emission technologies, fuel cell vehicles could find some footing in the heavy-duty truck market. The 2020 EV Outlook forecasts that fuel-cell vehicles will be more popular in this segment than in the passenger vehicle market, comprising almost four percent of sales by 2040. Nikola is counting on this growth to generate an increase in projected annual sales revenue from $150 million in 2021 to $3.2 billion by 2024.

Nikola is also counting on continued support for this technology in the key market of California. As is the case with battery-electric vehicle and charging deployment, California is well ahead of other states in its deployment of hydrogen fueling technology. The Golden State will be a critical domestic market for Nikola’s fuel-cell freight trucks and it is the only state that has provided public funding for fuel-cell trucks so far among the awards we’ve logged on EV Hub. More than $41 million was awarded through the California Climate Investments program to both Toyota and Kenworth to pilot their fuel-cell drayage trucks at the Port of Los Angeles.

California will likely pull even further ahead, as the landmark Advanced Clean Trucks rule, mandating that ZEVs make up a yet-to-be determined portion of truck sales, is expected to be approved this summer. California’s incentives for this technology will also likely lead Nikola to prioritize the state for deployment of its hydrogen refueling network. Nikola bought $30 million worth of hydrogen fuel production equipment from Norway’s Nel ASA on June 3rd just days before the merger was finalized. This purchase will support the company’s quest to develop “the largest hydrogen network in the world.” This is just the latest in a stream of more than $9 billion in global private investment publicly committed to medium- and heavy-duty ZEVS.

Government agencies and electric utilities are also answering the call to invest in the electric truck market. With the recent announcement of $130 million in grants for electric transit buses through the Low- or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant program, public funding for electric trucks and buses now exceeds $1.1 billion. Approved utility investment for programs focusing on electric trucks and buses is worth more than $737 million, almost 98 percent of which falls in California. You can track all of this through our recently updated landing page for medium- and heavy-duty electrification, which is free for all to use and is updated quarterly.
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EV Hub News

U.S. DOT Awards $130 Million for Electric Transit Buses in 40 States

The United States Department of Transportation awarded $130 million for electric transit buses and supporting infrastructure through the Low- or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant program on June 2, 2020. The awards were spread over 40 states and Washington D.C. and will help transit agencies accelerate the electrification of their fleets. The 2020 funding cycle is the largest yet for the Low-No program, which has contributed almost $480 million to transit bus electrification since 2015. Read More Here

Washington Awards $12 million from the VW Settlement for 40 Electric School Buses

On April 29, 2020, the Washington State Department of Ecology awarded $12 million from the state’s federal VW Settlement allocation to fund 40 electric school buses across the state. This award makes Washington the 14th state to commit settlement funds to school bus electrification. In addition to school buses, Washington has awarded more than $13 million for electric transit buses. It is also the first and only state to invest in hybrid electric ferry boats, awarding a total of $35 million to replace three of the state’s largest vessels in September 2019. Read More Here

New Jersey Will Allocate Remaining $45 Million VW Settlement Funds to EVs and EV Charging

Strengthening the state’s transportation electrification leadership, policymakers in New Jersey announced on April 22, 2020 that the remaining VW Settlement Funds worth almost $45 million will go towards EVs and EV charging. Roughly $32.7 million of this will go towards the replacement of old diesel buses, trucks, trains, port equipment, and marine vessels with electric alternatives. New Jersey has already awarded more than $24 million to EVs across several different vehicle categories and is one of only six total states awarding funds for electric trucks. 

The new round of funding also includes an RFP for charging infrastructure through the state’s It Pay$ to Plug In worth $7.6 million. The program that has already awarded $3.2 million for both DC fast and Level 2 charging stations throughout the state. 

The RFP will be open through June 22, 2020. Read More Here

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Upcoming Events

The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) intends to release a request for applications (RFA) for its Electric Vehicle (EV) Direct Current Fast-Charging (DCFC) Plazas Grant Program on July 1, 2020. In advance of releasing the Request for Applications (RFA), CEO will host a pre-RFA webinar on Wednesday, June 17 from 1pm-2pm MT. Read more here.

June 17th @ 1pm MT

Plug In America has invited our colleagues at similar EV driver associations in the Netherlands, Norway, and Scotland to join us for a discussion about how EV adoption is taking place in different countries and what we can learn from one another. We will look at policies, the EV market, charging infrastructure, and consumers’ attitudes toward electric vehicles. Read more here.

June 23rd @ 1pm EST

How will future vehicle Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) fleet scenarios affect emissions of criteria pollutants, mobile source air toxics, and greenhouse gases? TRB will conduct a webinar on Tuesday, June 30 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM that will discuss research on future vehicle fleet scenarios’ effect on emissions. Read more here.

June 30th @ 1pm EST

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