Holger Mandel, business angel and former CEO of MAN Truck & Bus Germany, joins the renowned advisory board of hydrogen specialist KEYOU with immediate effect. He will primarily support the company in business development and sales, as well as with the market launch of the world's first 18-ton trucks with a hydrogen combustion engine.
Mandel, who looks back on a career of around 30 years in the top management of established automotive and mechanical engineering corporations, decided to pursue a further career as an investor and business angel in early 2022. Previously, he held various executive positions for the Volkswagen Group, the Volvo Group and Caterpillar. "I am very excited to support KEYOU in an advisory role in the future," Mandel states. "The vision of emission-free and simultaneously efficient freight transport is one of the greatest challenges of our time and requires innovative solutions. I already had the chance of a test drive with the prototype of the 18-ton truck during the run-up to the IAA Nutzfahrzeuge 2022. The concept of hydrogen combustion in general, as well as the approach of modifying existing combustion engines to enable them to run on hydrogen and thus be CO2-neutral, convinced me from the very beginning."
Advisory Board with concentrated management and automotive expertise
With his experience, Mandel complements the renowned KEYOU advisory board consisting of top managers and business personalities Dr. Ulrich Bez (former CEO Porsche / Aston Martin), Rudolf Ellensohn (former CEO Liebherr / IVECO), Prof. Dr. Jörg Zürn (former C-Level Daimler Group), and Prof. Dr. Manuel Aguiar (CEO Fondation Ondjyla). With their industry expertise, the advisory board members are crucial sparring partners for the Munich-based company. They support the KEYOU management team on strategic topics and also daily business practices. "I am firmly convinced that hydrogen-based technologies are an indispensable alternative for addressing the world's complex mobility requirements," Bez states. Zürn adds, "In my opinion, there is no alternative to hydrogen engines, especially in freight transport, if we want to achieve the climate goals that have been set and combat climate change."
Negotiations for Series B funding in progress, "PF8" pioneer program entering hot phase
KEYOU is currently negotiating with renowned investors for its Series B funding. Furthermore, the clean mobility start-up has launched its "PF8" pioneer program, enjoying great popularity among fleet operators. In this program, KEYOU selected eight pioneer customers to test the 18-ton prototype truck unveiled last year under realistic conditions with a CO2-free 8-liter hydrogen engine converted by KEYOU. KEYOU rents the H2 trucks within a pay-per-use model: end customers pay a monthly €/km price depending on the annual mileage. The complete package includes the toll-exempt H2 vehicle, fuel, a service & maintenance package, and vehicle insurance. The first pioneer customer, EP-Trans GmbH from Regensburg, already signed one of the coveted contracts in May during the "transport logistic" trade show in Munich. Two trucks will be used to evaluate the long-term use of hydrogen technology for the requirements of the international hauler, which operates for large industrial customers, among others. KEYOU partner Paul Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH from Vilshofen will be responsible for the set-up and technical support of the vehicles; the trucks are scheduled to be delivered at the end of 2023.
"Especially in this important phase of our business amid our Series B negotiations, it was of great importance to us to further expand our advisory board," explains Thomas Korn, CEO and co-founder of KEYOU. "We are proud to have gained another highly respected member in Holger Mandel, who will support us with his industry experience and extensive network. The timing of the reinforcement could hardly be more ideal."
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