IRP Systems CEO wants to “electrify mobility”
Moran Price believes a mass adoption of electric vehicles is coming and thinks her company’s powertrain technology can help people breathe clean air
Product: Electric powertrain systems for e-mobility platforms
Raised: $57 million
Founders: Moran Price and Paul Price
“Our mission is to clean the world from CO2 and to fight climate change, and we are in a great sense of hurry, we do not have much time,” said Moran Price, the co-founder and CEO of IRP systems, a supplier and manufacture of electric powertrain systems for e-mobility platforms. “In order to achieve this we need to reach the mass market, we need to electrify all those cost-sensitive platforms that people around the globe use. There are of course electric vehicles in the market, but today, to reach a good electric platform it is quite costly, and therefore, it is mainly adopted in high-end segments of the market.”
“In order to make a revolution, to electrify mobility, we cannot only serve a narrow segment of the market,” Price continued. "We need to serve everyone, we need as many people as possible around the globe to breathe clean air and to drive non-polluting vehicles.”
Price, who founded IRP a decade ago, described her company in a rather simple manner saying “at IRP we develop electric powertrain systems, which is the unit that powers the electric vehicle. It can be any type of vehicle from an electric scooter to a light electric truck, to a passenger electric vehicle.” However, the company has taken interesting turns throughout the years.
“We started as a small design company in the aerospace industry,” Price recalled. “Four years ago, after several successful years in the aerospace industry, we were approached by some of the large automotive manufactures that started to shift towards electrified platforms, and we were pushed into the automotive market by the needs of our automotive partners to use the technology that we developed for aircrafts and to adjust it to automotive platforms.”
“In order to become a dominant player in the automotive market we became a startup, we started to raise funds, and grow quite quickly. Today, our team of 70 people is headquartered in Israel, backed up by great investors,” she shared.
The new mindset seems to be having a positive affect on the powertrain systems maker. To date, the company raised $57 million and “more than doubled our headcount since the beginning of this year,” according to Price. “Although we are growing very rapidly, we are always in shortage of capacity, so we always have more demand and more work than we can accommodate and we try to keep the pace and to grow at the same pace of the demand to our technology,” she stated. “The two components we develop are the electric motor and the controller, which is the electric unit that controls the motor and operates it. So we are a very interdisciplinary hardware-software company.”
When discussing the shift from the aerospace arena to the automotive realm, Price agreed it was a big change, while also emphasizing that the company very much relied on its own background and pedigree.
“We had to find ways to provide high performance, high-quality systems, great driving experience with affordable costs, and that is our technological challenge. The way we achieve this balance between costs and performance is actually by going back to our roots in the aerospace industry," Price claimed, evoking the aerospace industry’s focus on the weight and volume of systems installed on aircrafts. “Of course the automotive market is very different than the aerospace market, customer’s needs are very different, we are working with different customers around the world, it could be an automotive manufacturer in western Europe on the one hand, and a scooter manufacturer in India on the other.”
“Our market is evolving very quickly,” Price noted. “The vehicle is becoming digitalized, it has a lot more electronics and software in it, there are many new capabilities taken from data and IT worlds embedded now in vehicles.” When asked about how she sees her venture’s place in this ever-changing technological reality, Price was confident. “In a few years from now, we want our technology to be integrated and installed into as many vehicles around the globe, really to be able to make this global impact on sustainability.”
“Another mission we are already working on today, mainly our R&D team, is to develop the next generation of products that reach the market towards the later years of this decade,” she said, arguing that “the later years of this decade and the beginning of the next one, will be so fascinating in our industry because those will be the years we reach mass adoption. We have a lot of new technologies integrated into automotive platforms and the vehicle as we know it today will change significantly. So it is going to be a lot of fun.”