Randy Macewen


BC Business Magazine - - Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 -

Next year Bal­lard Power Sys­tems

turns 40, and in the words of its chief ex­ec­u­tive, “this is prob­a­bly Bal­lard 4.0 or 5.0, from the dif­fer­ent busi­ness mod­els we've had.” Founded to de­velop lithium bat­ter­ies, the Burn­aby-based com­pany piv­oted in the 1990s, fo­cus­ing on hy­dro­gen fuel cell tech­nol­ogy. Back then, many ob­servers thought fuel cell pas­sen­ger cars were the way of the fu­ture.

“I have a hy­dro­gen fuel cell car here in Van­cou­ver; it's one of about 10,” says Toron­toraised Randy Macewen, who man­aged other clean­tech com­pa­nies in the U.S. and Canada be­fore be­com­ing pres­i­dent and CEO. “But that's not the key mar­ket. The key mar­ket is heavy-duty mo­tive–so, buses, com­mer­cial trucks, trains and marine-based ve­hi­cles.”

Macewen, who holds a law de­gree from Western Univer­sity, leads some 450 em­ploy­ees at Bal­lard. Since his first full year at the helm in 2015, the com­pany has grown from $56 mil­lion in an­nual rev­enue to more than $121 mil­lion. “Peo­ple are see­ing the value propo­si­tion for fuel cell elec­tric ve­hi­cles for heavy mo­tive,” Macewen says. –N.C.

What’s one thing that peo­ple would be sur­prised to learn about you? I en­joy writ­ing coun­try mu­sic songs

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