On January 11, 2022 Covenant signed a letter of intent with Nikola to order a mix of battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell class 8 trucks. Battery Electric trucks only have a range of 350 miles and while most of Covenant’s business does not support vehicles with this limited range, we do have some customers where these trucks may be a good fit. We have received a steady stream of requests from both existing and potential customers to learn more about our expertise in this area. Next week, we begin our journey to answer these questions from firsthand experience.
On April 1 Covenant will receive a delivery of a prototype Nikola Tre Battery Electric Truck at our headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The truck is unlike anything else in the fleet – futuristic with its cab-over and sleek design.
This truck is a prototype and will be onsite for approximately one week as we receive training on the operation and maintenance of a vehicle unlike anything we’ve had in our fleet. The truck will leave Chattanooga April 21 for one of our customers in Atlanta, Georgia where together we will partner on a 90-day proof-of-concept. Because some of our work with them involves daily runs of less than 100 miles this is the perfect use to test the battery electric technology, and we are excited to work with them to gather driver feedback and performance data for long term success. We will assess its potential to become a permanent part of that account after 90 days.
Covenant continues to take steps to build partnerships for our sustainability efforts, most recently joining the advisory council with Torc Robotics and other key logistics providers (read the full press release here.) We were also able to share our knowledge at events like Truckload Carriers Association annual convention this year, where Matt McClelland, VP of Sustainability and Innovation was able to speak with his dear colleague, Bill Wettstein, CFO at Nussabaum Transportation Services Inc about CSR and ESG: What It is and Why It Matters for Fleets.
The other investments Covenant is making, which are affecting the planet positively include tire recycling, metal recycling, battery recycling, maintenance recycling, idle reduction, fleet aerodynamics and more. Covenant will continue to make more commitments to sustainability as we further understand the impact we make on our resources. You can read more about our efforts on our 2020 CSR Report