How Two African Americans Fast-Tracked the Development of Electric Vehicles Battery Industry in the United States

Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. and Larry Hales are two unsung Black heroes who single-handedly pioneered what is today a thriving electric vehicles industry

From February 1 to March 1, the world observes Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a recognition of their central role in U.S. history. Also known as the African-American month, it is often set aside to focus on the contributions of the Black community to the growth of the United States. The month provides a window of opportunity for people to engage with Black histories, go beyond discussions of racism and slavery, and highlight Black people and their accomplishments.

The U.S. electric vehicles industry started in the 70s, and not much was done in terms of development and innovation until the Clinton administration, which spanned from 1993 to 2001. During the Clinton administration, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., a legendary lawyer and presidential advisor, was a sounding board member and a great dispenser of professional advice to Larry Hales, founder of the Hales Global Group, a Washington, DC business development and government relations firm.ย 

In 1999 under the Clinton and Gore administration, the U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater announced a scheduled national test for high-speed electrical vehicles. The project was called The National Electric Vehicles Corridor Infrastructure network, and it marked the start of Larry Halesโ€™ involvement with the electric vehicles industry.

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After the Clinton and Gore administration, the electric vehicles industry of the United States suffered a massive decline due to negligence but was revived again during the Obama administration. Again, in 2009, Vernon E. Jordan showed his loyalty to Larry Hales as the lawyer was close to the 44th U.S President. Larry Hales was quick to seek the advice of Jordan for his client, Wanxiang, the largest Chinese company in the world based in Chicago.

Hales Global Group worked through many hurdles on behalf of Wanxiang that led to Wanxiang purchase of A123 Systems on January 28, 2013, for $256.6 million and the creation of A123 Systems, LLC. All of which added to the growth of the lithium-ion batteries used in the U.S. electric vehicles industry. Wanxiang secured the opportunity to qualify as a Chinese company to buy an American R&D battery company, A123 Systems, which developed nanophosphate technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 2021, Wanxiang had revenues of over $112 billion making it the largest Chinese-owned company in the world.

The US government is looking to revamp the U.S. electric vehicle industry, electric charging stations are key to this goal. Undoubtedly, the battery industry will enjoy exponential growth in the coming months, something Hales and Jordan envisaged since the 70s.

In recognition of Larryโ€™s contributions, the Army Future Command has invited him to join the 150 participants that would be speaking at the VERTEX/Energy Symposium in Austin, Texas. The symposium is scheduled for April 19 โ€“ 21, 2022. At the symposium, participants would be expected to market recommendations and innovations that can be used to strengthen and equip the U.S. Army.

For more information, please visit www.halesglobal.com or send an email to info@halesglobal.com

About Hales Global Group

Hales Global Group is a boutique consulting firm providing targeted business development and market research solutions. The firmโ€™s senior consultants have deep and broad industry backgrounds and international business expertise. They include experienced entrepreneurs and business advisors to companies and federal government agencies worldwide.

To learn more, log on to www.halesglobal.com/about.

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