Speaker Interview: Joseph Meylor, Senior Program Manager, UQM Technologies
Ahead of the upcoming The Battery Show Europe, we had the opportunity to speak with Joseph Meylor, Senior Program Manager at UQM Technologies about the electric vehicle market and UQM's long-term objectives for future products.
Joe is a senior program manager at UQM Technologies, a manufacturer of propulsion motors, invertors and motor control software ranging from 100 to 250kW. Responsibilities include understanding of the market and customer expectations and ensure customer products meet or exceed the timing, price and performance expectations. Before joining the UQM team Joe was with Motorola Automotive which was purchased by Continental Automotive AG in 2006. His positions included Quality – Product Reliability and Validation; Program and Product management, Account Management and Business Strategy. Joe has extensive knowledge of the Commercial Vehicle market both on and off road. Joe received his BSEE from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and an MBA from Marquette University.
Tell us about your role and responsibilities – what do you see as your core focus for the immediate and long-term future?
As Senior Program Manager for UQM I am the initial technical interface between the UQM team and the customers, to help ensure the success of their vehicles and projects. In addition, I drive the UQM new Product Development Process for products on our roadmap, or new and innovative customer applications of our existing product portfolio. In this usage products are generally UQM propulsion and generation systems for a variety of EV applications, in Automotive, Commercial, Marine, and Special Purpose, power generation, etc.
UQM’s primary strategic focus is to provide the most efficient drive systems for commercial vehicles (from shuttle vans to transit buses and heavy duty commercial). This enables vehicle manufactures and the end customer to maximize the kWh/km. Therefore, extending vehicle range or reducing the amount of batteries needed on the vehicle; which are both major market drivers. UQM also has extensive relationships with gear box suppliers to mate to our drive motors and can optimize the drive motor/gear box to the vehicle to provide the entire propulsion drivetrain solution.
Where do you see the biggest growth opportunities in electric vehicle and/or energy storage markets? (feel free to answer either geographically, technologically or market-led)
Our 50 years in this industry have seen many false horizons. It now appears the market as a whole may be in the midst of a tipping point. UQM sees China closely followed by India as major growth markets. They have the most environmental need, and population density that requires EV mass transit solutions. India for example moves approx. 50% of its urban population by bus.
Can you pinpoint what you see as the biggest challenge to battery manufacturing and/ or electric vehicle growth in Europe?
Europe has more regulatory pressure, government announcements and general market drivers to push necessary change, but faces the same challenge of reaching economic parity without relying on subsidy.
We are seeing a big shift in Europe and since UQM is a power dense, efficient and compact drivetrain technology, this drives the kWh/km cost down, and enables the customer to save considerably on the most expensive components - batteries or fuel cells which can provide high voltage DC for drive systems. As battery costs are coming down, Europe is starting to see some market traction.
What do you see as the biggest disrupter to the EV industry in the next decade?
Break throughs in KwattHour costs and/or KM/KwattHour performance.
What are you most looking forward to at Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo/ The Battery Show 2018?
German beer, wine and the opportunity to network with customers and industry leaders.
Who would be your best all-time 5 dinner party guests and why?
Mark Spitz (swimmer), Arthur Ashe (tennis player) and Bob Galvin (CEO of Motorola)
Don't miss Joseph's presentation on EV Commerical Vehicle and Transit Bus Market - Benefits of Permenant Magnet Propulsion Systems Paired with Multi-Speed Transmissions - for Highest Efficiency, Thursday May 17, 11:35 at The Battery Show Europe