Nikola May Change the Way It Leases Trucks


To keep you looped into the trucking industry, we’re sharing all things transportation, from maritime to infrastructure and other newsworthy material.

Electric Vehicles and Emissions News

Nikola, which introduced its 1,000 hp electric vehicle on Dec. 1, might be changing the way it is going to lease its vehicles. In a recent letter sent to those with reservations to buy the truck, Nikola is looking into changing its lease agreement to charge by miles driven for the year. In hopes to remove some of the burden on carriers to constantly be running the vehicles in order to pay them off, Nikola wants to have a minimum number of miles that a carrier will need to pay for and will create a rate for miles driven after that. The cost per-mile, at this time, looks like it will include costs for maintenance and refueling costs. Road testing is expected to take place between 2018 and 2021 in order to ensure extreme heat and cold testing occurs. Nikola expects the terms of agreement to be completed in 2019.

Peterbilt has created and announced a battery-operated, fully electric Class 8 garbage truck. It was introduced at the WasteExpo 2017 in New Orleans. Whether or not it will take the vehicle to market has not yet been released. If it does, however, the vehicle will be able to travel at speeds of 65 miles-per-hour for up to eight hours and will only take four hours to be recharged.

The EPA has been writing ever stricter regulations for the trucking industry. Its most recent work, Phase II Emission Standards, which was aimed at reducing nitrous oxide emissions as well as carbon dioxide, is nearly 1,700 pages that covers engine, transmission and trailer requirements in order to reduce emissions. The regulations also include potential costs to tire manufacturers if it is deemed that they are preventing vehicles from reaching their required levels. The cost of these regulations is enormous and will take manufacturers more than seven years in most cases to payback with sales at their current levels. Currently, the Truck and Trailer Manufacturers Association and was granted a 90-day stall by the DC Appeals Court. The EPA has since indicated that it might alter its ruling but to the extent is unclear. If the electric vehicle takes off as Toyota, Nikola, Tesla and Peterbilt’s interest seem to suggest it might, these rules may become unnecessary anyway.

States Creating Legislation Effecting Trucking

Two weeks ago, Texas and California announced they were looking into ELDs for their intrastate truckers for 2019. The state of Florida has just entered into the race as well but they want ELDs to be adopted by their intrastate drivers as early as December of 2018. HB 545 is going up for debate in both the Florida House and Senate with no voting date yet. The bill, if passed, would adopt the Federal ELD Mandate for all drivers within the state. Many states have already agreed to adopt the ELD Mandate for all trucking activities and all states are expected to adopt at least some portion of it.

Tennessee is looking to raise its taxes on diesel by 10 cents over the next three years. Beginning on July 1, the tax on diesel will go from 18.4 cents to 22.4 cents per gallon. In 2018 and 2019, on July 1, the taxes will again increase but by three cents each year. This means the taxes will go up to 25.4 cents in 2018 and to 28.4 cents in 2019.

Quick Hits

Instead of a week-long inspection blitz surrounding breaks this year, it has been reduced to a single day. That day is Sept. 7.

Another enforcement blitz coming up this year is called Operation Safe Driver and that will run Oct. 15-21. This operation will be looking for poor driving habits such as speeding, following too close, and distracted driving. During this same time, enforcement agents are going to be looking for passenger car drivers and enforcing unsafe actions when around commercial vehicles.

Georgia plans to reopen I-85 on Monday after a bridge collapsed shutting down the interstate. The Governor has stated this is the plan barring any turbulent weather.

There was plenty of other information through the week. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let us know by sending us an email at mailbag@truckstop.com.