The automotive industry has undergone significant transformations over the past two decades. Notably, the shift towards eco-friendly fuels, in order to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, has been the driving force. Consequently, electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as a viable alternative to replace traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. As a result, numerous contenders are now vying to deliver the most exceptional EV solution globally. However, only a select few have truly left an indelible mark on the automotive industry with their remarkable technology.
Alex Ezeugwa is the Director – Propulsion Operations at Canoo, a startup specializing in electric vehicle manufacturing, and has played a pivotal role in this paradigm shift. The company has introduced a couple of distinct and cutting-edge vehicles that capture everyone’s attention. Alex’s involvement with this groundbreaking company stems from his aspiration to develop transportation technology that is more dependable and safe. Let us delve deeper into the life and accomplishments of this innovative individual.
A Journey from Smart Mind to Revolutionary Mind
Introducing Alex, an exceptional engineer and project management professional who has charted an extraordinary educational and professional journey. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the esteemed University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and pursued a master’s degree in project management at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, United Kingdom. Alex further enhanced his expertise by completing the Energy Storage Systems for Auto Application course at Ohio State University.
Alex’s career commenced as an engineering intern at the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), where he cultivated his engineering skills. From there, he transitioned to a project engineer role at a construction firm, immersing himself in the intricacies of project management. Driven by his desire to excel in this field, he pursued an advanced degree in project management, which ultimately led him to secure a position in the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen, Scotland.
It was during this transformative period that Alex encountered a mentor who recognized the untapped potential within him. Encouraged by his mentor, Alex saw an ideal opportunity to synergize his electrical engineering background, project management acumen, and passion for automobiles. Fueled by his unwavering passion for learning and embracing new challenges, he set his sights on the automotive industry.
Fate intervened when Alex stumbled upon a captivating opening for a project planning engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, specifically for the cutting-edge D7A platform architecture. Eager to embark on this thrilling journey, he promptly applied, thus forging his path into the automotive realm. Ten years have since passed, and Alex’s experience in the industry has been nothing short of exceptional, brimming with fulfillment and remarkable achievements.
Canoo: Driving Innovation to the Greener Future
Canoo is a company that is transforming the future of electric vehicles. Founded in 2017 as Evelozcity, Canoo’s unique approach to electric vehicles is disrupting the industry.
One of their standout offerings is the lifestyle delivery vehicle (LDV), which allows owners to change the vehicle’s top hat over time while keeping the skateboard the same. This gives them the freedom to personalize the body and interior design of the LDV to fit their needs and style. Canoo’s LDV is not the only innovative technology they have developed. Their state-of-the-art steering wheel steer-by-wire system is another standout feature that sets them apart from the competition.
With a focus on sustainability and cutting-edge technology, Canoo is driving toward a greener future, and the automotive industry is taking notice.
Contribution to the Company’s Green Future
Alex is in charge of directing and increasing the manufacturing of premium battery modules in his capacity as Director of Propulsion Battery Operations. His responsibilities also include boosting output, creating workflow adjustments, and raising Canoo’s battery production capacity to more than 3.2 GWh by 2024.
His most crucial responsibility is to hire, coach, and mentor team members in order to manage a high-performing battery production team. By securing the development of top-notch batteries for electric cars, Alex is assisting Canoo in moving towards a more environmentally friendly future.
Commitment to Providing Best-in-class Products
Canoo is dedicated to increasing the experience of its customers and preserving a high level of satisfaction by consistently enhancing its product selection and service standards. Canoo’s LDV trucks have received orders from a distinguished clientele, including Wal-Mart, Kingbee, and Zeeba, proving the confidence these companies have in the company’s products. To ensure customer happiness, Canoo cherishes customer input and actively incorporates it into its service delivery process. To consistently enhance their services and solutions, they have undertaken test runs and acquired feedback from clients.
Strategies to Empower Teams
Alex is exceptional at encouraging and motivating his team to do more than they had anticipated. He accomplishes this by regularly creating a distinct vision and quantifiable objectives on a quarterly basis. In addition, he stresses the need for coaching and mentoring, making sure that each team member has a personal growth strategy. Alex promotes a culture of cooperation that produces outstanding outcomes for the company by bringing everyone together around a common goal.
Prioritizing Diversity in the Workplace
Alex understands the significance of fostering a positive and inclusive workplace environment. To achieve this, he actively encourages and welcomes employee feedback. Recognizing the value of diversity, he consciously assembles teams composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and skill sets. Moreover, Alex takes it upon himself to provide comprehensive diversity training to his team members, emphasizing the importance of managing unconscious bias and promoting an inclusive culture. Through these steps, he creates a workplace where every individual feels valued and respected.
Vision for Innovation and Success
Alex anticipates a future in which Canoo outperforms competitors such as Tesla in battery manufacturing. His ambition is to increase Canoo’s battery production capacity to more than 6.2 GWh during the next two to three years. By doing so, he hopes to establish Canoo’s battery manufacturing plant as the best-in-class, setting new industry standards. Alex understands the changing environment of the automotive business and is motivated to keep Canoo at the cutting edge of innovation and success. Alex is steering Canoo towards a bright and wealthy future by strategically focusing on growing battery production capacity.
Fulfillment in Collaborative Engineering Challenges
Alex derives great satisfaction from working with high-performing teams to solve difficult technical issues and contribute to the development of renewable and sustainable energy. The collaborative environment and the opportunity to make a meaningful impact are aspects that he truly enjoys about his work. He embraces his role and the positive aspects of his work, focusing on the rewarding experiences and the potential for innovation and progress.
Pioneering the Future of the Automotive Industry
Despite the challenges faced by the industry in recent years, Alex remains optimistic about the future. In the US alone, there was a 9% decline in new vehicle sales in 2022, largely due to supply chain disruptions. However, with most of these challenges set to be resolved by 2023, he is cautiously optimistic about a robust sales outlook.
When it comes to the latest trends and innovations in the industry, Alex is at the forefront of it all. They are particularly excited about electrification, which will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and help mitigate the environmental impact of transportation. However, he is quick to point out that power utilities must generate more of their energy from renewable resources to accommodate the higher demand caused by the shift to electric vehicles.
Another area that he is passionate about is vehicle connectivity. They see enormous potential in the development of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-grid (V2G), and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) connectivity infrastructure. Once these ecosystems are established, they will greatly improve driver and occupant safety while revolutionizing the entire vehicle mobility ecosystem.
Simple Formula to Happy Work-Life Balance
Family and work are two different aspects of life. One gives you the motivation to be unique, and another helps you maintain your uniqueness. Hence, Alex follows a simple rule: “Do not take office work home.” Instead, he switches off the work and spends quality time with his three lovely boys and wife.
Advice to Innovators
The automotive transformation has immense possibilities for creating an impact. However, it needs to be specific and innovative. Alex has a piece of advice that will help aspiring innovators. He says, “I’ll advise aspiring leaders to always think big, align passion with purpose, and have the ‘I can do and excel attitude.’ Endeavor to always innovate, think about product quality, reliability, and performance, and get to make decisions with its people in mind.”