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Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

The electric truck startup Nikola Motors' stock surged 22% Monday and the company now has a market capitalization of $17 billion. That's pretty, pretty good considering they have basically no revenue yet.

Driving the news: The bump came after Monday's announcement that the waste management company Republic Services has ordered at least 2,500 electric garbage trucks, with deliveries slated to start in 2023.

Why it matters: Corporate fleet purchases are likely to be a big part of the pathway for electric vehicles.

  • As Nikola CEO Trevor Milton put it: "The refuse market is one of the most stable markets in the industry and provides long-term shareholder value."

The big picture: Other companies are also targeting fleet customers right out of the gate.

  • Fleets make sense for several kinds of electric vehicles, not just heavy trucks, because of predictable routes and centralized charging locations.
  • The startup Rivian is building a pickup and an SUV, but has raised gobs of cash partly on the strength of its deal to supply Amazon with electric delivery vehicles.
  • Lordstown Motors, which is aiming its planned pickup at commercial fleets, just raised money via purchase by a special purpose acquisition company that will allow it to go public.

How it works: Back to Nikola (which by the way is also building a pickup). They said the garbage trucks will be based on the drivetrain of the Nikola Tre electric semitruck, which is supposed to begin production late next year.

  • The vehicles for Republic Services will have a range of 150 miles per charge, Nikola said. The order is for 2,500 units but could expand to 5,000.

Go deeper

Nov 10, 2020 - Science

Cruise to test autonomous grocery delivery for Walmart in Arizona

Photo: Cruise

Walmart is partnering with self-driving technology company Cruise to pilot autonomous grocery deliveries in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Why it matters: Cruise is not the first partner Walmart has selected to test AV deliveries. But the retailer noted that Cruise's fleet of electric vehicles, powered with renewable energy, supports its mission to achieve zero emissions by 2040.

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.