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GSCW chat recap: Romeo Power CEO on importance of CV batteries

Looking for the battery technology startups ‘no one has ever heard of’

Romeo Power CEO Lionel Selwood is seeking to keep his startup ahead of the competition in batteries for electric commercial vehicles. (Photos: Romeo Power)

This fireside chat recap is from Day 4 of FreightWaves Global Supply Chain Week. Day 4 focuses on automotive.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: The critical nature of batteries to the success of commercial electric vehicles

DETAILS: Romeo Power Technology recently completed a business combination with RMG Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company. Romeo is now a public company with $545 million in contracts for heavy-duty truck battery packs. Investors include Republic Services and Tier 1 supplier BorgWarner. 

SPEAKER: Loionel Selwood, CEO of Romeo Power

BIO: Selwood was born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Before joining Romeo Power and rising through the chairs at the commercial vehicle battery startup, he worked at General Electric and two other startups: SpaceX and Faraday Future. He is a big believer in partnerships up and down the value chain and helping to turn technologically advanced engineering designs into tangible products.



“One thing that we noticed almost three years ago was [a shortage of] printed circuit board components. We stood up a program that we tongue-in-cheek called Operation Hedge Fund where on a weekly basis we look out on the open market. And if there’s something we see with a 56-week or a 72-week lead time, we grab it on the open market and put it on the shelf.”

“Ensuring that we have continuous access to that daily supply [of roadworthy components] is a daily focus of ours. We will deliver as many batteries from as many cells as we get in the door.”

“We’re really pushing the boundaries and the development of the names nobody has heard of. You have the four partners that have their place in the market: Samsung, LG, Panasonic and CATL. What we’re doing is really driving the next wave to introduce quality products into the supply chain.”

Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.