Exhibitor Spotlight: Manoj Karwa, Clean Wave Technologies

Manoj Karwa is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Clean Wave Technologies.

Prior to joining Clean Wave, he managed Leviton Manufacturing’s electrical vehicle infrastructure business, which he grew from concept to thousands of stations deployed in nearly 3,000 automotive dealerships across North America.

Throughout his career, Manoj has held leadership positions at General Motors, Visteon Corp, Ricardo Consulting Engineers and A.T. Kearney.

Manoj earned a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Please tell us about your current role. What are your key focus areas and responsibilities?

As the Vice President of Sales and Marketing, my responsibilities include developing and implementing a comprehensive sales and marketing plan for Clean Wave’s products in domestic and global markets, as well as playing a key role in Clean Wave’s overall business expansion efforts. In addition, I continuously monitor the marketplace to identify new opportunities, and to gain awareness of major market developments, such as macro-trends, regulatory/policy changes, and shifts in underlying market fundamentals. Through this role, I strive to develop a partnership with customers, suppliers and industry stakeholders in multiple functions and levels – from engineers to supply chain and business executives – to discover and align with influencers and decision makers. By exhibiting at conferences like the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, I work to expand our network and increase our knowledge base. I also attend relevant seminars, trade shows and other industry events, follow industry publications and participate in professional organizations.

What inspired you to join/start this company?

I was intrigued by the opportunity to work with Clean Wave Technologies for three reasons. First, the team’s strong and tenured leadership in both Silicon Valley and China. Second, the performance metrics of Clean Wave’s AC induction motor. Finally, the opportunity to lead a global sales and marketing team. Since I joined Clean Wave, I have been reaffirmed that the design and performance of our electric drive systems meets or exceeds most customer requirements.

What do you think sets your company apart from your competitors?

Our key differentiators include the benefits of our AC induction motor, which delivers high efficiency, a modular design, compact size and high power density.

As a manufacturer of an AC induction machine, we use no rare earth magnetic materials. This helps our customers manage the supply chain and associated cost volatility. In addition, there are environmental benefits associated with not mining for rare earth elements, because they require damaging hydrometallurgical techniques, such as acid baths and the use of toxic chemicals.

The compact design of the electric drive systems provides an advantage over competitive designs. Our products deliver nearly 20% lower weight and up to 40% improved specific power.

We also deliver high power density that is nearly double that of leading competitors. Our electric drive systems have high efficiency over typical drive cycles, which allows for greater battery ranges.

In addition, we have a new world-class manufacturing facility in our factory in Jiaxing, in Zhejiang Province, China. Our factory is conveniently located about 1½ hours from Shanghai, and it has high-volume production, research, development and sales capabilities. The factory offers automotive TS16949 quality standards with electrical, mechanical and dynamometer testing laboratories.

What are the key opportunities and challenges your company faces at present?

Our biggest opportunity and challenge is time to market. We are working diligently to meet our Asian OEM customer requirements. We have customers that are ramping up high-volume electrified passenger vehicles, and high-performance commercial vehicles across Asia.

Based on our research, we have learned that China has electric vehicle regulations by mandating 20% of new auto sales will be PHEV and EVs by 2025. Quotas begin by 2018 that require OEMs to earn credits equal to 8% of total sales; this increases to 10% by 2019 with penalties that may revoke a company’s license to sell in China.

Are there any new technology developments that you are working on at the moment? Can you tell us about them?

Yes, we recently successfully launched our M-Series electric drive system, which has power output from 90 to 225kW power and torque ranging from 130 to 430Nm. Building off that success, we are finding new applications for the M-Series based on the unique requirements of different vehicle segments and electrical architectures. Each vehicle segment – motorsport, passenger car or commercial vehicle – has different power and torque demands. In addition, the electrical architecture can vary from plug-in hybrid to all-battery electric. We are expanding our modular design of this new electric drive system to provide scalable solutions to meet different customer specifications.

What would you say most excites you about your role?

I am most enthusiastic about working with the Clean Wave team. Our organization includes a diverse skill set from Silicon Valley, the Midwest and China, with automotive and technology backgrounds. The entrepreneurial mindset, research and development focus, along with world-class manufacturing, make it a very energetic workplace. However, the best feeling is to see customers’ expressions the first time they see the performance metrics with our AC induction motor!

How do you think the industry will develop within the next five years? Can you tell us about the key trends emerging?

As discussed, the Chinese electric vehicle market is expanding. During a recent trip to China, I was impressed by the number of electrified vehicles on the roads, and the related infrastructure available. In the next five years, I believe the cost to own, operate and maintain an electrified vehicle will be less than an internal combustion engine vehicle. As free market forces take over, consumers will appreciate the benefits of driving electric.

What do you hope to achieve at the show, and what connections do you hope to make?

Our entry into the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo in 2017 will be our first reveal of our company and technology in the North American market. We hope to create awareness of our company’s mission, products and capabilities. We also look forward to networking with OEMs, suppliers and other industry stakeholders. 

Manoj Karwa will be discussing "Comparison of AC Induction and Permanent Magnet Motors in Electric Drive Vehicle Systems" at the Open Tech Forum, Wednesday September 13, 3:15pm.

View the full exhibitor list here.