10 people are changing transportation – from companies like Archer Aviation and Ford Pro | Rare Techy
Insider’s 100 People Transforming Business highlights 100 leaders from 10 industries who are driving unprecedented change and innovation.
The transportation list includes leaders from organizations such as ChargerHelp, Northvolt and Lyten.
Click here to read the full profiles and see the full list of Transformers.
Insider has released its 2022 list of 100 people who are changing the way business is done across sectors. Keep reading to see how 10 leaders are making waves in transportation.
Eric Allison, Product Manager, Joby Aviation
As the “Uber of the sky” begins pilot production of vertical takeoff and landing helicopters, Allison, who came to the company through Uber’s acquisition of Elevate in late 2020, is concerned with “all the things that surround the aircraft that allow us to bring it to market, ” he said.
This means combining the flight with Joby aircraft with other transport services, such as business air travel. It also means navigating Federal Aviation Administration certification and other red tape to get its helicopters up and running, and even convincing non-aircraft users that they’re flying overhead.
Ted Cannis, CEO of Ford Pro
As head of Ford Pro, the automaker’s commercial customer business, Ted Cannis focuses not on pickup trucks like the much-hyped F-150 Lighting, but on utility vehicles and vans. And that means he’s leading a key part of Ford’s $50 billion plan to make half of its production electric by 2030.
“We have 40% of the full-size truck and van business here in America,” Cannis said. “By the end of the decade, we will be 50% electric worldwide.”
Adam Goldstein, CEO and co-founder of Archer Aviation
In 2021, Archer Aviation raised nearly $900 million through a SPAC deal. Over the past year, Goldstein has put that money to work.
Goldstein said that in addition to expanding its team, Archer will take on the “very expensive” task of certifying a new type of aircraft. It’s a big part of Goldstein’s push to commercialize electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.
“We’re the first to push the industry to think about a business model, not just a cool tech,” he told Insider. To that end, Archer became the first eVTOL company to partner with major commercial airline United.
Celina Mikolajczak, Head of Battery Technology at Lyten
Mikolajczak, formerly of Tesla, Panasonic and QuantumScape, joined Lyten in July to help develop a lithium-ion battery that takes advantage of sulfur. Lyten is relatively emerging and has many battery competitors. But its team and technological approach may provide the answer to automakers’ biggest challenges with their batteries.
Lyten wants to control sulfur with 3D graphene and in the process produce cells with better range, charge time and safety.
“I think most people don’t realize how many people and how much effort it takes to deliver it,” Mikolajczak said of the batteries. “They underestimate the scale, the factories that are needed.”
Emma Nehrenheim, Northvolt Environmental Manager
Nehrenheim, environmental manager at Swedish battery power plant Northvolt, leads a team of more than 100 people who control the entire battery manufacturing process, including mining materials and handling of end-of-life batteries.
His team has looked at sustainability from many angles: where to put the factory, how much water to release, how to calculate and validate the carbon footprint. Nehrenheim said this has led to a carbon footprint.
Ross Rachey, director of global fleet and products at Amazon
Rachey plays a major role in one major industry while helping to create another. As director of Amazon’s global fleet, he is responsible for electrifying the giant fleet of last-mile delivery vehicles.
Rachey is also responsible for figuring out how to keep the global electric vehicle fleet charged. In November 2021, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund invested in the startup Resilient Power, which builds compact fast-charging storage facilities for electric vehicles.
Sheila Remes, Boeing’s vice president of environmental sustainability
As the world’s largest aviation company, Boeing can address the sustainability of air travel. Remes, Boeing’s vice president of environmental sustainability, leads these efforts, from decarbonizing waste streams to designing and manufacturing more efficient airplanes.
In 2020, Boeing announced it had achieved zero emissions in manufacturing and jobs, in part through purchasing renewable energy and carbon offsets. Last year, it promised to deliver commercial aircraft capable of flying on 100% sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, by the end of the decade.
Jackson Switzer, Senior Director of Business Development, Redwood Materials
A few years after he worked on lithium extraction for chemical manufacturer Albemarle, Switzerland witnessed a change. Demand for the element used in ceramic hobs and toilet bowls surged as carmakers announced plans to build millions of electric vehicles.
That’s because lithium is a key ingredient in today’s electric vehicle batteries, and mining companies aren’t pulling enough of it from the ground to meet the plans of the likes of General Motors, Volkswagen, Ford and Tesla. And lithium isn’t the only ingredient in short supply.
A chemical engineer by training, Switzer is now helping Redwood Materials meet that demand by recycling old batteries.
Kameale Terry, CEO and Co-Founder of ChargerHelp
Terry wants to help remove one of the biggest barriers to mass adoption of electric vehicles: the lack of widespread and reliable charging infrastructure. So in 2020, Terry founded ChargerHelp. Owners of charging stations can call on the Los Angeles-based startup’s specialists to repair broken devices.
“I come from a community where people don’t have those opportunities. I come from a space where people can’t build,” Terry said. “I get to do the things of my dreams, and I have a team that can make it happen. How magical is that?”
Rachad Youssef, BrightDrop Product Manager
BrightDrop, General Motors’ light commercial vehicle subsidiary focused on electrifying first- and last-mile deliveries, has made a splash since its launch in January 2021.
An alumnus of Chinese automaker Nio and self-driving car startup Zoox, Youssef leads the design, development and management of BrightDrop’s products and services. This includes BrightDrop’s Zevo van, Trace’s cart for delivery and courier operations, and fleet software.
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