EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — WattEV, which is developing a network of solar-powered electric truck stops throughout California, announced this week the appointment of three new members to the company’s board of advisors.
The new board members will aid the company’s growth as it expands its public electric truck charging infrastructure and Truck-as-a-Service program. WattEV has a goal of putting 12,000 electric heavy-duty trucks on the road with a supporting infrastructure by 2030.
Its first electric truck stop, under development in Bakersfield, California, is scheduled to open in late 2022, while the first of an order of Class 8 electric trucks for the TaaS program is slated to be delivered at the same time.
“As WattEV moves towards revenue generation in 2023 and scaling its operation in years beyond,” Salim Youssefzadeh, chief executive officer of WattEV, said. “The addition of these three distinguished professionals will help the company in building a solid foundation as it completes its developmental work.”
The new members and their sector expertise include:
Transportation Sector: Tom Nightingale has spent his entire career in transportation. He is currently CEO of AFS Logistics, a leader in supply chain consulting and logistics services. Nightingale has a track record of working with high-growth transportation and logistics companies. He previously served as CEO of International Package Shipping, president of GENCO Transportation Logistics (now FedEx Supply Chain), chief marketing officer of Con-way Inc. (now XPO) and vice president of marketing for Schneider National. Nightingale also serves on several supply chain industry for-profit and non-profit boards.
Technology: Rustam Kocher is a self-described “EV-angelist” who “drives on sunshine” by using solar panels to charge his two electric cars – the same concept used in WattEV’s 21st Century Truck Stop in Bakersfield, which will be a 40MW solar park for charging heavy-duty electric trucks. Until recently, Kocher was the Transportation Electrification Team manager at Portland General Electric (PGE), Oregon’s largest electric utility, where his team was responsible for operationalizing and scaling PGE’s electric transportation product portfolio. Prior to joining PGE, Kocher was a founding member of the E-Mobility Group at Daimler Trucks North America, building DTNA’s electric truck and charging offerings from the idea stage to reality. Kocher has also led the global Megawatt Charging System (MCS) taskforce at CharIN, where more than 120 companies, government labs and agencies have been working together to standardize the MCS charging connector that will enable charging for 250 miles of range for a fully loaded rig in less than 30 minutes.
Project Finance: Before starting his consulting practice, John Schuster served for 15 years at the U.S. Export-Import (EXIM) Bank as vice president and head of the Structured Finance Division, growing its lending capacity to more than $10 billion per year. He led the bank into new sectors such as satellites, renewable energy, mineral mining, nuclear power and semiconductor manufacturing. Schuster is an expert on project finance with more than 30 years in the infrastructure finance industry. He has led and advised deal and project teams on more than 200 separate transactions, involving nearly $50 billion of approved project loans for infrastructure projects.
“We’re honored to have our three new board advisors join our company and guide us in our journey,” Youssefzadeh said. “Our voyage involves pioneering work integrating diverse sectors of transportation and technology, with project finance providing a key element. Having access to advice from accomplished leaders in each of these sectors will be invaluable.”
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