From Detroit to LA, GM to Xos: Meet Kirk Rasmussen, Our New Director of Electrical Engineering
As you might imagine, electrical engineering is critical to the successful manufacturing, testing, and building of electric vehicles. We recently sat down with one of our newest leaders in the electrical engineering department, Kirk Rasmussen, our Director of Electrical Engineering.
Kirk’s background blends the worlds of traditional automotive and electric vehicles. He brings a wealth of deep industry experience to Xos and we’re pleased to welcome him to the team.
Learn more about Kirk, his history within the auto industry, and his plans for the Xos electrical engineering department in our Q&A with him below.
You’ve worked at GM, Fisker, and several other companies in the automotive industry, can you tell us a little about your background?
I started out in a traditional role with GM in Detroit, Michigan. GM has been around for over 100 years, so it’s steeped in tradition. It’s very regimented and established.
There are both pros and cons to working at a well-established company. At larger companies, there are more processes in place and a methodology for everything, even down to brewing the morning coffee.
What these larger companies sometimes lack is flexibility. They don’t always have speed or agility. And that’s what led me away from more traditional auto companies.
I also worked for the original Fisker in Anaheim, CA where I developed an engineering team. Fisker was the opposite: an agile and flexible startup with a great idea and awesome design!
Not many people can say they’ve worked for both established and EV startup companies, and I believe my background will help support the growth of Xos during this pivotal moment in the company’s trajectory.
What led you to join the team here at Xos?
I was aware of Xos before I started here and had been following the company’s news for some time. There’s so much news surrounding EV startups, especially in the automotive space. There’s Tesla, Fisker, and so many others.
In my mind, with the battery technology and reliable powertrains, Xos is at the top of the list to succeed in the electric commercial truck market!
What are you most excited about in your position?
I’m excited to help build out the department and the team more fully, specifically in wiring and electrical systems to meet the goal of decarbonizing transportation.
How do you see yourself shaping the electrical engineering department at Xos?
I want to do two things.
One, add people with experience launching products, and two, I want to train and develop newer, younger engineers who have diverse backgrounds and experiences. It’s important to have a blend of experienced senior engineers as well as junior engineers who are hungry to learn and have a lot to offer.
What would you say to an electrical engineer curious about Xos and the world of EV tech?
This is the future. It’s similar to the huge change that took place over 100 years ago when we went from horses and buggies to automobiles. They had to hang up the saddles and learn new skills and how to use new tools.
The auto industry went stagnant for several years, especially in the 80s. The developments in the 80s were things like the inventions of cup holders and sunroofs, and that was a big deal at that time. Today, the big development is in electric vehicle and battery technology, and this will change the automotive industry forever.
Now is a great time to be an electrical engineer in the auto industry. There’s a whole new world of technology out there. It’s now possible to electrify everything: lawnmowers, leaf blowers, bikes, motorcycles, airplanes, you name it. Electric vehicle technology is a great place to be for the next 100 years!
Do you have any special talents you’d like to mention?
My special talent is adaptability. I’ve traveled extensively and lived in many different places. It’s always an adventure and challenge to do that and it’s something that I’m proud of. I like the challenge of working with new people, doing something new and trying things that haven’t been tried before and succeeding.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I’ve been to 40 countries and lived in several, but I’ve always liked coming home. In my ideal world, I would love to continue to live in Michigan for 6 months of the year and spend the rest anywhere else in the world. Many other places have the quality of life, but America has the quantity of life worth living!
What is one thing on your bucket list?
Visiting all the National Parks. So far, I’ve been to 31 national parks, so I’m halfway there.
Building a Better Xos
Interested in working with talented people like Kirk Rasmussen? Join our electrical engineering department and help us usher in the future of electric transportation. You can check out all of our open roles on our career site.