Executive Spotlight: Brandon Bordenkircher, Innova EV

Member Spotlights,
Innova EV’s carsharing service utilizes our Dash EV vehicles. Built in suburban Chicago, each Dash EV is electric, low-speed, street-legal, and includes heating and AC. These efficient vehicles have the potential to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions — while also improving personal mobility and supporting current transit investments. Dash EVs can be more efficient and convenient than other transport modes, safer and more comfortable than bicycles and scooters, greener than traditional fuel-burning vehicles — plus take up significantly less parking space than cars.

What are you and your organization seeking to achieve?

Innova EV is seeking to solve mobility issues for cities and universities. To achieve this, we focus on four tenants: 1. Equity: Our pilot program on Chicago’s southside helped provide transportation to underserved communities

2. Sustainability: We offer a zero-emission carsharing service

3. Safety: We supply cities and universities with small, low-speed electric vehicles

4. Mobility Data & Insights: Our vehicles are equipped with 60 sensors to equip cities with information to help them make data-informed decisions.

How did you get to where you are today?

In my 20’s I played in anarcho-noise punk bands. That excitement, and drive to galvanize people, led me to community organizing, where I helped homeowners face big banks attempting to foreclose on their homes. I eventually landed at Airbnb as the Deputy Program Director where I helped pass positive homesharing laws across the U.S. From there I worked as the Chicago General Manager for car2go (Daimler’s carsharing app) where I managed 400 vehicles ($11m worth of assets). I met Roman Kuropas, CEO Innova EV, at Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s New Mobility Task Force, and he hired me on as the VP of Business Development (my current role). 

How have you seen the TDM industry change?

I became interested in the transportation industry during the advent of dockless bikes. I started writing white papers on the policy issues pertaining to these new mobility options. It was wild seeing companies launch in cities without asking for permission. Micro-mobility has become less jagged over time, and now even the most anti-scooter policymakers understand that disruptive mobility plays a key role in helping their citizens get to where they need to go. It’s been fun watching it progress.

Where do you see the industry going in the next 10 years?

I hope to see people ditch their privately owned vehicles. Honestly, so many cities have more and more options for people. The less we rely on private vehicles and start taking shared rides with zero emission vehicles, the better off the entire world will be.

What brought you to ACT? What has been the most memorable part of your involvement in ACT?

Innova EV’s CEO, Roman Kuropas, was on ACT’s national board and introduced me to the organization. I just wish I had found out about ACT sooner!

What keeps you motivated?

Running 6 miles a day and reading non-stop keeps me pretty motivated. I’ll never be fast enough or smart enough. Gotta' keep pushing through!

What has been the most fulfilling moment in your career?

Writing. I’ve published academic articles on AI in the cockpit, the sharing economy, dock-less bikes and more.  In addition, my wife and I recently finished writing our first book: “UN-INNOVATION: Why a Divided America is Bad for the Future of Technology.” It’s a study on the intersection of policy, technology and political polarization. Collaborating with her has been very fulfilling.

What is a great piece of advice you have received? Have you put it to use?

An uncle once told me, “If you’re seeking to accomplish something, keep knocking on the door. Don’t worry if no one answers, you’ll eventually knock the door down if you pound hard enough.” I’ve always liked that advice and think about it often. It’s just a reminder to keep going and never lose sight of your goal.

I’ve also found it’s helpful to check and see if the lights are on before you start knocking.

Any additional thoughts to share?

I’m extremely excited to be involved with ACT. I’m looking forward to learning from my fellow members and collaborating with them.