The shift from fossil fuel power to electric vehicles (EVs) is no easy task, and while we look at the major companies advancing mobility across the globe, it’s also important to recognise the leaders that are driving said companies forward. With targets set to minimise the increasing global temperature and reduce our impact on the planet, organisational leaders are under immense pressure to provide for their employees, the public, and, most critically, the planet.
While looking at some of the most innovative companies in the e-mobility industry today, we also highlight the CEOs that have bolstered much-needed determination and support for global EV adoption.
10. Ola Electric - Bhavish Aggarval
The two-wheeled scooter company is braving electrification through mass production of affordable electric mopeds. Bhavish Aggarval is the founder of the organisation, which is committed to not only great EV triumph in India, but also inclusivity in the workforce. The team holds female employees to high regard as they make up a significant portion of the team.
In October 2022, Aggarwal made some bold commitments for the company as it continues to provide affordable e-mobility in India, this time focusing on competition with the leading EV company Tesla.
9. Heart Aerospace - Anders Forslund
Turning attention away from the automotive sector, Heart Aerospace reached a great milestone for the aviation industry. Led by its Co-Founder and CEO, Anders Forslund, the company is heralded as an innovator in the Americas.
Forsland led the successful innovation of the firm’s all-electric planes and reached a pivotal stage for national aerospace, having received an order for its ES-30—a plane capable of transporting 30 passengers—by Air Canada as a method of reducing aviation emissions.
8. Volta Trucks - Essa Al-Saleh
Based in Altendorf Schwyz, Switzerland, Essa Al-Saleh is a board member and the CEO of Volta Trucks. Having worked for the Kuwait Oil Company as well as logistics and transport firm Agility, Al-Saleh is well-versed in the technical aspects and sustainability impacts of the supply chain.
Experience in these industries formed Al-Saleh’s leadership approach when appointed in October 2020. The company has since witnessed great success in promoting its safety and sustainability message as it provides large goods-delivery vehicles that double as safer, more eco-friendly logistics solutions.
7. Polestar - Thomas Ingenlath
As a German car designer, Thomas Ingenlath was previously the Senior Vice President Design of Polestar’s parent company, Volvo Cars. He received a Master’s in Vehicle Design from the Royal College of Art, London, which led to a career in automotive design for the likes of Volkswagen Group brands Audi and Skoda.
Releasing more popular cars into the automotive market, Polestar has become one of the top choices for automotive leasing services and consumers globally. Despite the company’s ties with Volvo Cars—which also sells EVs—the company has its own sleek and powerful identity, causing it to feature in the Top 10 Pure-Play EV Companies list in our October 2022 issue.
6. Mercedes-Benz (Daimler AG) - Ola Källenius
Ola Källenius has overseen many of the company's achievements in his time on the board, but the electrification of heavy-goods vehicles (HGVs) is perhaps one of the finest. As a graduate of the Stockholm School of Economics, Källenius has worked across various facets of Daimler AG during his career.
The automotive manufacturer is heavily invested in electrification, with many of its forecourt offerings switching to all-electric propulsion—including its HGV range.
5. Rivian Automotive - RJ Scaringe
With an estimated net worth of US$1.7bn in December 2021, RJ Scaringe is the relentless individual behind the Rivian EV brand—specifically, in highlighting their ability to be exciting and provide opportunities for adventure.
An engineer by trade, Scaringe grew up as a car enthusiast restoring vehicles in his neighbour’s garage. Learning the sad truth—that the automotive industry was thriving at the detriment of the planet—he set about creating the foundations of the company that is now loved for the excitement, ingenuity, and creativity built into each model.
4. NIO - William Li
Serving at the helm of NIO—the company that saw new potential in alternative charging solutions—Li is the Chinese entrepreneur and businessman behind the EV manufacturer and battery swapping system.
Having founded the company in 2014, the company has now become one of the most influential thanks to its foresight of the EV charging dilemma. Li also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Peking University and went on to co-found Beijing Creative & Interactive Digital Technology Co., Ltd.
3. General Motors - Mary Barra
Not only one of the largest automotive corporations on the planet, General Motors (GM) is now producing exciting new updates as it navigates a strategic and innovative path towards electrification. Mary Barra is the driving force behind GM’s success in sustainable mobility development and is the leading voice in spreading the company’s message.
The firm is committed to developing EVs holistically, focusing on the platforms that make up the foundations of its vehicles. Its Ultium platform is a triumph in EV technology, built to transition the company from its traditional automotive position.
2. BYD - Wang Chuanfu
CEO Chuanfu’s heart has, since his early academic days, been married to science and technology. Studying a Master of Science at the Beijing Non-Ferrous Research Institute following a Bachelor of Arts and Science at the Central South Industrial University of Technology, Chuanfu’s academic achievements dovetail nicely as he powers China with EVs.
Founder and CEO of BYD, Chuanfu is the leader of a business going above and beyond the consumer EV market, sharing its electrification innovation in the form of public transport vehicles to fully electrify cities. So notable are the company’s endeavours that it continues to battle it out with Tesla to lead various national automotive markets.
1. Tesla - Elon Musk
Everyone in the industry knows him as the power behind the Tesla brand. Elon Musk co-founded the company—now approaching its 20th year of operation—and has delivered impressive new vehicles that broke the boundaries of electrification.
Musk continues to lead the firm to new heights, despite disruptions from COVID-19 and other supply chain shortages. This includes leading the organisation’s innovation in consumer vehicles, charging and, now, heavy goods vehicles and battery manufacturing.