Vulcan further strengthens team with Ex-Tesla hire

By Meagan Evans. Published at Sep 25, 2020, in Small Caps

Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL | FRA: 6KO) today announced that former Tesla Director for Central Europe Mr Jochen Rudat has joined Vulcan effective immediately to assist in exploring Zero Carbon LithiumTM offtake and strategic partnerships in Europe's electric vehicle and battery sector.

Vulcan is developing Europe’s biggest Lithium resource using its world first, IP protected “Zero Carbon LithiumTM” extraction process to produce both renewable geothermal energy and battery quality lithium hydroxide, from the same deep brine source.

The company’s project is located in Germany’s Upper Rhine Valley, roughly 600 kilometres from Tesla’s soon to be completed Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg.

Vulcan boosts expert team

Mr Rudat was Tesla’s first marketing employee in Europe, where he built a team of 250 employees and was responsible for the launch of Tesla’s various models in the region, including Tesla Models S, 3, X and Roadster.

In his ten years with Tesla, Rudat spent part of this time reporting directly to Elon Musk.

Prior to Tesla, Mr Rudat worked for BMW, Kia and Porsche. Recently, he worked as Chief Sales Officer with Italian luxury car maker Pininfarina to launch their Electric Hypercar, Battista. He is also the founder of Electric Ventures, a consultancy focused on investments in sustainable transport.

As Sales & Marketing Consultant at Vulcan, Rudat will assist the Business Development team with exploring Zero Carbon LithiumTM offtake and strategic partnerships in the electric vehicle and battery sector in Europe.

Vulcan Managing Director, Dr Francis Wedin, commented: “We’re excited to be joined by such an experienced member of the electric automotive industry.

“Jochen will work alongside and complement our Business Development team led by Vincent Pedailles, providing his expert industry insight as we explore offtake agreements and strategic partnerships surrounding our world-first Zero Carbon LithiumTM product, process and project in Europe.”

Lithium industry expert Vincent Ledoux-Pedailles is another recent addition to the Vulcan team. As Vice President Business Development he is based in the company’s European offices.

Mr Ledoux-Pedailles was appointed as a Lithium Expert by the European Commission and is a regular speaker at various industry events across the world presenting at chemical, mining, and energy related conferences.

He was previously Executive Director Corporate Strategy at Infinity Lithium Corporation (ASX: INF) where he led the project to become the first to secure EU funding.

Prior to that he worked at IHS Markit where he led the lithium and battery materials research team covering the entire industry’s supply chain from raw materials to E-mobility. Earlier in his career, Ledoux-Pedailles worked for Talison Lithium in Perth, tracking the lithium industry in China and Europe. He also worked for Roskill, an international metals and minerals research and consulting company.

These recent hires of Mr Ledoux-Pedailles and Mr Rudat add to Vulcan’s impressive team, which has been vastly strengthen this year with numerous expert hires.

Earlier this year, Vulcan strengthened its team with the addition of lithium chemistry expert Dr Katharina Gerber; strategic communications and ESG investment expert Ranya Alkadamani; and engineering experts Dr Thomas Aicher and Stefan Trummer.

It also appointed a highly credentialed technical team for the project’s Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS). The team combines world-class expertise and a proven record of success in lithium plant engineering, direct lithium extraction, geothermal surface and sub-surface engineering, brine chemistry treatment and geological modelling.

The completion of the fully funded PFS is not far off, with the DFS to follow ahead of first commercial scale production targeted for 2023 to supply the booming European EV supply chain.

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