Nikola’s customers include AJR Trucking, a carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, which has purchased 50 of the fuel cell vehicles.
Nikola’s stock price saw a rally Thursday morning, climbing to $1.07 per share by midafternoon. It had been in sharp decline since the recall in August.
Girsky appeared stiff during the pre-recorded video. Nikola culled questions from investors in advance of the recording, and Girsky pretended to solicit them in real time during the video.
He addressed four topics in a tight 15 minutes: the battery-electric truck recall, production and delivery expectations, the company’s hydrogen infrastructure buildout and Nikola’s future and outlook.
“We are working to accomplish something no one has ever done before, so challenges are to be expected,” Girsky said. “In light of any recent setbacks, we’re moving in the right direction.”
Girsky assumed the CEO role in August. He had been the company’s chairman of the board. Previously, he has worked as managing partner at advisory firm VectoIQ LLC, which took Nikola public via a special purpose acquisition company, and in various roles at General Motors and as president of Centerbridge Industrial Partners.
He succeeds Michael Lohscheller, whom Nikola said resigned because of a family health matter. Lohscheller had been CEO for less than a year.
Nikola passed a shareholder proposal in August that allows the company to increase its authorized shares, a fundraising lever for its hydrogen fuel cell truck and hydrogen fuel project.
Like many electric vehicle startups, Nikola is strapped for cash. As of June 30, Nikola had six months’ worth of cash left on hand.
It is making a bet on its hydrogen fuel cell truck and its hydrogen production brand, HYLA, which it said will support the Tre FCEV.
Nikola said it is working to fulfill 18 customer orders for more than 200 of those vehicles starting this month, which would make it the first truckmaker to deliver hydrogen vehicles to customers.
Not everyone was mollified by Girsky’s recorded remarks.
“It was just a pre-recorded video, there was no live chat, Steve was just reading a script as if a gun was pointing at his head,” one commenter said on the social media platform X. “Disappointing.”
Nikola had said Girsky “engaged in a candid and informative CEO chat and Q&A session.”