Nikola Energy Appoints Ole Hoefelmann as President

By February 3, 2024 3   min read  (613 words)

February 3, 2024 |

Fuel Cells Works, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Nikola to Collaborate and Invest in the Co-Development of Large-Scale U.S. Green Hydrogen Production Projects
  • International energy executive with 30-plus years’ experience takes HYLA reins

PHOENIXNikola Corporation (Nasdaq: NKLA), a global leader in zero-emissions transportation and energy supply and infrastructure solutions, via its HYLA brand, announced the appointment of Ole Hoefelmann as President of the Nikola Energy division, effective February 5, 2024.

A 30-plus year veteran of the hydrogen business, including decades in executive positions at Air Liquide and a stint at Plug Power, Hoefelmann most recently served as Nikola’s Global Head of Infrastructure Operations, where he led the reorganization of the HYLA-brand hydrogen refueling infrastructure.

Hoefelmann will continue to expand this work as President of Nikola Energy, where he will oversee the company’s energy business, including supply strategy, technology, dispensing, and development.

“Ole is a highly regarded international executive from the energy sector with an impeccable resume. In a few short months, he has helped the company make considerable strides in creating its hydrogen highway, starting in California, with plans to expand across the U.S. and Canada,” said Nikola President and CEO, Steve Girsky. “As our hydrogen fuel cell electric truck sales increase in 2024, it’s important that our energy efforts are commensurate. We are confident that our customers will benefit from Ole’s expertise and service-oriented mentality.”

Joe Cappello, a leader in the hydrogen space for several years, most recently as President of Nikola Energy, will be departing from the organization and assisting over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition. “We wish Joe all the best as he continues to champion energy transitions and support the growth and use of hydrogen on a global scale,” said Girsky.


Originally from Munich, Germany, Hoefelmann’s depth of experience in the hydrogen economy is significant, with 30 years’ tenure at Air Liquide S.A. in positions that took him from the U.S. to Europe, with local and global responsibilities.  Starting in 1991 in a variety of foundational roles, Hoefelmann’s tenure at Air Liquide resulted in him leading up to 3,000 employees, holding titles such as CEO for Air Liquide in Iberia, COO Industrial Customers U.S., Chairman of Air Liquide Advanced Materials, CEO Advanced Technologies U.S., Vice President Hydrogen Energy Americas, Vice President Markets, Strategy, Innovation, Strategic Accounts, and Communication for the World Business Line Industrial Merchant.

Accomplishments with Air Liquide include development of commercialization strategies to scale hydrogen energy, influencing safety education and protocol, and accelerating growth in new markets, including transportation, where he collaborated with some of the largest vehicle companies in the world to set up hydrogen refueling networks and production.

Hoefelmann joined Plug Power in 2021 as General Manager of their Electrolyzer business, responsible for sales, product management, development and business strategy.  He also was an operating partner for Hy24, a clean hydrogen infrastructure investment platform, and is former chair and vice-chair for the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) and vice chair of Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA).

Hoefelmann is fluent in German, English, Spanish and French and earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Master of Business Administration in International Business from St. Mary’s College of California.

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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