Blue Current is a leader in the next wave of innovation in the battery industry. We are a diverse team of all ages and backgrounds with deep research, implementation, and go-to-market experience. Our headquarters includes state-of-the-art development and manufacturing facilities containing wet and dry laboratories, battery testing and high bay logistics space. We are located in Hayward, CA at the center of the Bay Area, between San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. From the shoreline to the hills, Hayward is a vibrant community at the center of it all featuring 20 miles of hiking and walking trails, many of which are accessible from Blue Current’s campus.

Leadership

Ben Eiref

Chief Executive Officer

Ben has decades of experience building new businesses in the electric vehicle and technology industry. Prior to Blue Current he was Worldwide Head of Automotive Solutions at Amazon Web Services (AWS) where he started the company’s cloud solution business supporting autonomous, connected and electric vehicles. Before AWS, he led strategy and business development at the global EV maker NIO in the US through the company’s IPO in 2018. Early in his career he was a member of the engineering team that built the original prototype of the General Motors EV1 electric car. He has engineering and business degrees from Yale, Stanford and the University of Chicago.

Kevin Wujcik, Ph.D.

Chief Technology Officer

Kevin joined Blue Current as Chief Technology Office in 2018 and has a significant background in electrochemistry with a focus on battery and fuel cell technologies. Prior to Blue Current he was on the research team at Ford Motor Company focusing on battery materials and fuel cell systems research and development. He is named in over 12 peer reviewed scientific publications and 9 patents. Kevin received his Bachelor’s degree from Drexel University and his PhD in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley where his thesis focused on lithium sulfur batteries containing solid polymer electrolytes

Yutaka Wakai

Vice President of Advanced Manufacturing

Yutaka has thirty years of experience scaling battery production from early stage to mass production at Panasonic, A123, Zeon, QuantumScape and 24M. He has served as Chief Engineer, Principal Engineer, and a Research Fellow. Prior to Blue Current, he was the Senior Director of Process Engineering at Desktop Metal where he developed the company’s metal 3D printer media for mass production. Before that, he was the Senior Director of Process Engineering at 24M technologies and built the manufacturing plan and selected machines for volume production. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Maizuru College of Technology and a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Production System Engineering from Toyohashi University of Technology.

Board of Directors

Louise Brady

Piedmont Capital Partners, LLC, Board Member

Louise is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Piedmont Capital Partners, LLC, which builds companies resulting from Technology Innovations from Academia. Prior to joining Piedmont she was Vice President of Investments at Wells Fargo Advisors. She serves on numerous corporate boards, community and educational advisory roles including Co-Chair of the UNC Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Visitors and she is a member of the Governors Entrepreneurial Council. She was Co-Founder and Board of Directors for the Women to Women Endowment. Ms. Brady received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in with a double major in Industrial Relations and Economics.

Nitash Balsara, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Scientific Adviser, Board Member

Nitash Balsara is co-founder and serves as advisor and board member at Blue Current. He is the Charles W. Tobias Professor of Electrochemistry in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and is a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Prior to Blue Current Nitash co-founded SEEO, an early solid-state battery company that was acquired by Bosch. He has over 280 scientific publications and 13 issued patents. Nitash received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, master’s degree from Clarkson University, PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and two post-docs at the University of Minnesota and Exxon.

Joseph DeSimone, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Scientific Adviser, Board Member

Joseph M. DeSimone is co-founder and and serves as advisor and board member of Blue Current. He is the Sanjiv Sam Gambhir Professor of Translational Medicine and Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. He was Co-Founder and current Executive Chair of Carbon. Joe has published over 350 scientific articles and has nearly 200 issued patents in his name – with more than an additional 200 patents pending. He is a member of the National Academies of Medicine, Sciences, and Engineering. He is one of only 25 individuals elected to all three U.S. National Academies — the National Academy of Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering. In 2016 President Obama presented him the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

“Cell performance and safety depend heavily on the electrolyte. By producing our own material we can optimize performance while ensuring that we are using processes which can scale.”
Ben Rupert, Head of Electrolyte Development