Hybrid semi-truck company shifts plant plans from Buckeye to Coolidge

Aug 30, 2018, 4:49 AM | Updated: 8:29 am
(Nikola Motor Company Photo)...
(Nikola Motor Company Photo)
(Nikola Motor Company Photo)

PHOENIX — Nikola Motor Co. announced it decided against using Buckeye as the city to its manufacturing plant for the semi-trucks that run on a combination of hydrogen and electricity.

After initially choosing Buckeye in January, Nikola shifted to Coolidge, the company confirmed Wednesday.

Brewing company Anheuser-Busch pre-ordered up to 800 of the semi-trucks in May, forcing Nikola to find a facility with pre-existing infrastructure to accelerate the timeline of truck development.

“Arizona is a great place to do business,” Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola said in an emailed statement to KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“The Governor’s office and the City of Coolidge both were incredible to work with and helped us find a solution to getting up and running quicker. Ultimately, we have over 2,000 employees to hire and we had nowhere to put them. We needed a quicker path to manufacturing and Coolidge provided that for us with a property that was ready to go.”

Coolidge is about 55 miles southeast of Phoenix.

Pinal County offered financial incentives for the company, according to the Phoenix Business Journal, primarily through sales and property tax reductions.

“Buckeye literally went to the ends of the Earth to help us out,” Milton said in the statement.

Nikola will be using a 430-acre piece of land owned by Saint Holdings LLC that includes an industrial park, which could “shave several years off the development phase,” according to the Coolidge Examiner.

An independent study predicted the plant, which is expected to create 1,800 to 2,000 jobs, could generate about $278 million in wages, according to the newspaper.

By 2025, when the plant is expected to be fully operational, it was predicted to have a $1.2 billion economic impact.

The headquarters will remain in Phoenix, near Interstate 10 and Broadway Road.

The zero-emission vehicles will be able to travel up to 1,200 miles per tank, the Phoenix Business Journal reported in May, and only take 20 minutes to refill.

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Hybrid semi-truck company shifts plant plans from Buckeye to Coolidge