Heidi Lubin has long been an avid outdoorswoman – she is a certified kayaking and skiing instructor — so she feels strongly about protecting the environment. And in 1999 she spent time in Nigeria with the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, seeing first-hand the violence and chaos that was in part fueled by the country’s oil resources.
These experiences and values are part of the road that has brought Lubin, at age 34, to be CEO of an award-winning start-up electric motor company.
The motors designed by Chicago-based Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies (HEVT) don’t use the rare earth metals that are a key component of most modern electric motors. While much attention has been focused on the need to create better batteries to power electric vehicles, experts note that improved electric motors are also key.
HEVT’s technology is an improvement on the switched reluctance motor, an existing design that isn’t in widespread use because, until now, it’s been difficult to build one that runs smoothly.