Nikola Corporation Appoints Joseph S. Cappello as President of Nikola Energy

By September 21, 2023 4   min read  (617 words)

September 21, 2023 |

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Experienced energy executive joins Nikola leadership team.

PHOENIX– September 21, 2023 – Nikola Corporation (Nasdaq: NKLA), a global leader in zero-emissions transportation and energy supply and infrastructure solutions, via its HYLA brand, is proud to announce the appointment of Joseph S. Cappello as President of Nikola Energy, effective September 25, 2023.

As President of Nikola Energy, Cappello will oversee all aspects of the company’s energy business to support Nikola’s customer base, including infrastructure, supply strategy, trading, technology, and development, as well as leading and expanding the company’s HYLA brand operations. His arrival coincides with the upcoming commercial launch of the Class 8 Nikola hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle.

Cappello joins Nikola following a successful five-year tenure at Iwatani Corporation of America (ICA), a U.S. subsidiary of Iwatani Corporation, a prominent Japanese conglomerate and leader in hydrogen production, LNG and LPG supply. In 2018, Cappello initially served as Executive Advisor before assuming the roles of Chairman and CEO of ICA in 2019.

“Having an accomplished energy executive of Joe’s caliber join Nikola as President of our Energy division underscores our company’s vision and potential, and sets us on a course to advance our hydrogen highway initiatives,” said Nikola President and CEO Steve Girsky. “Energy management and infrastructure are integral to Nikola’s business strategy, and Joe has direct experience setting up hydrogen stations, which is vital as our hydrogen fuel cell trucks hit the road in the coming weeks.”

“Nikola is at the forefront of transformative change in the global transportation sector, poised to significantly reduce diesel emissions from Class 8 trucks,” said Cappello. “I’m thrilled to be part of this organization and contribute to its mission of revolutionizing and decarbonizing trucking by providing an exceptional value proposition.”

Nikola Corporation Appoints Joseph S. Cappello as President of Nikola Energy

Nikola President of Energy, Joseph S. Cappello.


Joseph S. Cappello began his career as a Sell-side Chemical Analyst on Wall Street before joining Praxair, now Linde, where he held roles of increasing responsibility over a 15-year period.

His first corporate assignment at Praxair was leading investor relations, followed by operating roles managing the U.S. CO2 business, Global Helium business, and the Pipeline Services organization. He was then named VP, North America where he led the company’s Product Management Group, which included the largest merchant hydrogen portfolio in the U.S. Additionally, Joe piloted the business units responsible for the expansion of the company’s position throughout Asia Pacific as President of Praxair Asia, based in Shanghai.

Cappello then transitioned to the Private Equity sector, leading business units in two separate companies. His leadership played a significant role in the success of both organizations, including managing one of the largest off-road energy transportation and logistics businesses in the U.S.

In 2019, Cappello assumed the role of Chairman and CEO of Iwatani Corporation of America (ICA) and was subsequently named Senior Managing Officer of Iwatani Corporation. Under his guidance, ICA grew significantly through acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and transformative investments, resulting in the establishment of four new U.S. Business Platforms: Hydrogen, Specialty Gases, Helium, and Industrial Gases.

Cappello earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Montclair State University and a Master of Business Administration from New York University, Stern School of Business.

About Nikola Corporation

Nikola Corporation’s mission is clear: pioneering solutions for a zero-emissions world. As an integrated truck and energy company, Nikola is transforming commercial transportation, with our Class 8 vehicles, including battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks, and our energy brand, HYLA, driving the advancement of the complete hydrogen refueling ecosystem, covering supply, distribution and dispensing.

Nikola is based in Phoenix, Arizona with a manufacturing facility in Coolidge, Arizona.




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