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How a former Kenyan Tesla engineer is revolutionizing the US electric vehicle market



By Judith  Gicobi

Charly Mwangi, a graduate of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), is revolutionizing the electric automobile sector thanks to the advancements in science and technology in the twenty-first century.

Mwangi gained attention in 2012 when he was named Senior Director of Engineering at famed US electric vehicle maker, Tesla.

The engineer was then employed by Nissan Motor Corporation in Mississippi when Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, sought to enhance the company’s output of electric vehicles.

However, Mwangi left Musk’s business after working there for six years to join VP Hardware Engineering and then Rivian, a 2009 startup that produces electric vehicles.

Mwangi revealed last month that he was joining Eclipse Ventures, a business that invests in automotive startups, as a result of his success at Rivan. He stated that his departure was due to other employment prospects.

“After an exhilarating two years at Rivian, I made the difficult and emotional decision to leave the company in order to pursue a new career opportunity.”

Despite his tremendous accomplishments in the US, Mwangi also made significant strides in Kenya’s locomotive sector. He was one of the engineers that worked on the first vehicle to be put together in the nation, the Nyayo Pioneer 1.

Mwangi attributes his mother’s guidance and support in getting him through school as the cause for his success. The former JKUAT graduate showed his appreciation by giving his mother a visit of the Tesla factory in 2013.

“As I reflect on my career, my favorite moment was when I gave my mum a personal tour of the Tesla factory back in 2013. She was completely blown away! She is definitely the reason I see through barriers,” he stated then.

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A lot of Kenyans have praised Mwangi for his accomplishments and believe that the engineer is destined for greatness.

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