JOHN HARDING:
 
JOHN HARDING




 
 
 
 
 
Founder and President of Current Motors in Ann Arbor. The company develops and manufactures all-electric motor scooters that use no gas and produce no emissions. The bikes offer speeds up to 70 MPH and a range of up to 50 miles, and can charge from a standard 110V household outlet in four to six hours. Bob Lutz, formerly vice chairman of product development at General Motors, is an investor and chairman of Current Motors' advisory council, and Lauren Flanagan, another investor, is executive chair. Flanagan is co-founder and managing director of the Phenomenelle Angels Fund I LP and BELLE Capital LP. Other investments include $250,000 from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund and micro loans from Ann Arbor Spark and First Step Fund. The company has applied for one patent and has more in development. It has begun a "test pilot" program where customers receive a discount in exchange for feedback, publicity options, and recommending the scooters to friends and acquaintances. Harding has been selling all-electric motor scooters since 2007 and has been a motorcycle rider all his life. Previously, he managed the development of a complex enterprise management system for Thomson Corporation. Harding started his career with Ford Motor Co., working for six years in powertrain electronics in both the U.K. and U.S. He received his bachelor's degree with honors in computer science from Manchester University in the U.K.


WHERE BORN: “Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England. I grew up in a small village in Wales called Horseman's Green. I've been a U.S. citizen since 2005.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Henry Ford - if I could achieve in the electric vehicle (EV) space just the tiniest fraction of what he did in the field of internal combustion vehicles then how cool would that be? I'm especially mindful of bringing affordable solutions to the market.”

LAST BOOK READ:Honda Motor: The Men, the Management, the Machines by Tetsuo Sakiya.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Passionate, action-oriented, happy.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “Exciting times. Most major auto manufacturers have public plans for a plug-in hybrid and/or a fully electric vehicle. I expect that all of the majors will have at least one offering on the road in the next three to five years. All-electric motor scooters are actually a much better match for current EV powertrain capability because folks generally don't buy these with the intention of long-range riding. Range is the only pro of gasoline vs. electric. On the other side, the advantages of EV's include cleaner; more convenient; less maintenance, which means no oil changes, no tune ups, no chain maintenance; and lower cost of ownership -15 cents per mile vs. 30 cents for an equivalent gas motor scooter.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “Here's an offbeat one - and my newest - the Pandora Console. It's a full-featured Linux computer that fits in your pocket, designed and assembled by a team of six or so entrepreneurs out of Canada, the U.K., Germany, and Turkey.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “It's a three-way tie between North Wales, North Michigan, and Biosphere south of Tulum, Mexico. All beautiful and all wonderful places to hang out with my family.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Motorcycling and electric vehicles.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Steak at Knights in Ann Arbor and no, they didn't pay me to say that and don't even know who I am.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “When I was 17, I was a winner on a popular TV game show called 'Blockbusters' and no, you can't see the video.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “For playing a small role in shifting personal transportation to a more sustainable future and for doing that while maintaining a healthy balance with family life.”