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Adrian Melliger, CEO Designwerk Technologies, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #365 - Adrian Melliger: The Electromobility One-Stop-Shop

Adrian Melliger

December 21, 2023

6:44 - eMobility back in 2008

7:39 - CO2 impact of electric vehicles 

8:56 - Sourcing the minerals sustainably & ethically

15:58 - Life after death, for batteries

25:00 - Partnering with Volvo

About Adrian Melliger:

⁠Adrian Melliger⁠ is the co-owner and CEO of ⁠Designwerk Technologies⁠, an electromobility one-stop-shop. He previously worked for companies like Swissport and Ground Handling Team Holding before joining Designwerk in 2018.

Designwerk was founded back in 2008, after its founders went on a 80-day, all-electric world record circumnavigation with the specially developed Zerotracer cabin motorcycle. Ten years on, the founders invited Adrian to join them as external CEO because they felt a lack of business acumen in their engineer-only founder team.

Designwerk develops and constructs electric trucks, battery systems and chargers. Although their electric vehicles require more energy to produce (and therefore emit more CO2) than diesel vehicles, they make for it on the consumer side, since over their entire lifetime they produce up to 60-90% less CO2. They also often get used in other applications (like solar panels, for example) once their first life runs out (= 15 years), and can be shredded and have 92-96% of their raw materials be recycled.

Designwerk’s turnover increased 11x ever since Adrian joined as CEO, and like any other scaling company, they’ve had to deal with some growing pains: getting the right people on board, adapting the structure and processes, ensuring sufficient cash flow (especially in a capital-intensive business like theirs) and ensuring the availability of materials, especially during challenging times like the COVID pandemic. 

In 2021, Volvo Group acquired a stake in Designwerk Group to complement its existing offering in the area of niche products and solutions.

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