By Tomi Kilgore
CEO Steve Girsky: Recall of battery-electric trucks doesn't affect production or deliveries of fuel cell EVs
Shares of Nikola Corp. soared back above the $1 mark Thursday, in the wake of a fireside chat held by newly appointed Chief Executive Steve Girsky to address key investor concerns.
The electric vehicle maker's stock (NKLA) shot up 32.2% to $1.15, to bounce off a three-month low, and to snap a four-day stretch of trading below $1.
Trading volume spiked to 235.7 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 71.9 million shares, and enough to make the stock the third-most actively traded on the Nasdaq exchange.
The top investor concern listed was the recall announced a month ago of more than 200 battery-electric trucks for coolant leaks inside a pack, an issued deemed to have caused a truck fire in June.
Girsky, who was named CEO on Aug. 4 after former CEO Michael Lohscheller stepped down due to a family health matter, said Nikola's staff was "working around the clock" to obtain appropriate parts from suppliers.
"All fixes are and will undergo thorough validation testing prior to release," Girsky said. "Timelines and costs will be relayed as soon as possible, and our main priority is to ensure customers' safety and satisfaction."
Regarding production and delivery concerns, Girsky said while deliveries of battery-electric trucks have been paused, he assured investors it wasn't a concern with respect to hydrogen fuel cell trucks.
Also read: Nikola warns 2023 deliveries at risk over recall of more than 200 trucks.
"We want you all to be aware that the battery-electric truck recall does not affect the production or deliveries of the fuel cell electric vehicle since it uses a different battery pack from a different supplier," Girsky said.
He said has production of those trucks began on July 31, the first deliveries of the truck to dealers are planned for late-September and early October, which a launch celebration scheduled for Sept. 28.
Girsky said he believes the deliveries will give Nikola "at least a two-year head start" on its competitors.
Nikola's stock has tumbled 46.8% year to date, while the Global X Autonomous & Electric Vehicles ETF DRIV has rallied 24.6% this year and the S&P 500 index SPX has climbed 17.3%.
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September 15, 2023 08:03 ET (12:03 GMT)
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