James Taylor, co-founder and CEO, ELMS

Season 2, Episode 31,   Feb 01, 2022, 11:32 AM

We speak to ELMS’ CEO and co-founder James Taylor about the EV market, the current automotive industry shortages, the challenges and advantages of an SPAC to launch your company, and what he believes is the right approach to comms and culture.

Our guest for the 23rd interview with unicorn start-up leaders is James Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Electric Last Mile Solutions (ELMS). 

ELMS is redefining the fleet transportation industry with its vertically-integrated approach to designing, manufacturing and customising electric last mile delivery vehicles. With proven technology, seasoned leadership and a vision of a sustainable future, they’re moving the needle when it comes to the expectations of fleet managers and business operators.  

James Taylor is an experienced leader who co-founded ELMS in August 2020 and has served as ELMS’ Chief Executive Officer since its inception. Prior to co-founding ELMS, James served as Chief Executive Officer of SERES from May 2019 until August 2020. Prior to SERES, James served as an executive in various automotive companies, including positions of increasing responsibility at Karma Automotive, Dura Automotive Systems and General Motors Company (including with world-renowned General Motors’ brands Hummer and Cadillac). 

Among his advice on how to excel in communication, James believes you must train your abilities like with any sport and always be ready for game day. Practice, practice, practice. He reveals why brand reputation is extremely important in the automotive industry, and, in many cases, the difference between making money and not making money. He also points out how you can invent some markets, but in the car business often if it doesn't exist, there might be a good reason for it. According to James, the biggest fundamental in his learnings is to make sure you're starting out with at least a shot by asking yourself: is this product sound, and is there a customer demand? 

The interview, as usual, was co-hosted with Russell Goldsmith of the csuite podcast

We have distilled the most valuable, actionable insights from our first 15 interviews with leaders of unicorn companies and bottled them in our book ‘Growing without borders: The unicorn CEO guide to communication and culture’. You can download it here.