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Delivering the world’s finest collectible EV’s

We are a team of technologists and gear-heads that love to dream, build, and drive inspiring, sustainable automotive artwork. We are passionate about the beauty expressed through timeless automotive designs, and fueled by the emotions which these iconic masterpieces evoke.  We are obsessed with engineering excellence into everything we do.

We created Retro-EV to connect the world’s automotive heritage with the future of mobility, keep classic car aficionados on the road, and to engage a vast new audience in a zero-emissions world. We do this by fusing true classics with modern technology so they can be savored by the eyes and reveled in through the senses. This disruptive approach respects our precious global environment, while preserving the true, classic driving experience for generations to come.

Retro-EV: Combining the best elements of actual classics with the best elements of modern EVs without compromising either…we have embraced this challenge!

The Team

Michael M. Richardson

Michael M. Richardson

Founder & CEO

This energetic entrepreneur was inspired to start Retro-EV in 2015 with his unique vision for the future of iconic vintage cars benefitting from sustainable, reliable and high performance EV technology. His mantra is business agility and the relentless pursuit of continuous improvement and customer value delivery at every level.

Aapo Kankaanpää

Aapo Kankaanpää

EV Systems – Mechanical Systems Engineer

Aapo has extensive experience in high-performance street and racing applications and enjoys wrestling with complex mechanical challenges in search of simple, elegant solutions that can withstand racing and the tests of time. Aapo is active in rally racing, and is a truly hands-on innovator.

Ville Eskelinen

Ville Eskelinen

CTO

Ville brings his own unique perspective and creativity to the team as our CTO. Ville has developed very special expertise in complete electrical system design and integration, including vehicle control system programming and complex onboard systems troubleshooting situations.

Ioannis Soultanis

Ioannis Soultanis

EV Systems – Electrical / Software Systems Engineer

Ioannis has been involved with various EV developments since 2012 and has developed deep skills in the unique combination of electronics hardware and multi-platform software systems which control them. He’s also a very devoted father of 2 young sons, lucky kids!

William Lieberman

William Lieberman

CFO

William is an experienced founder/entrepreneur, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer who provides strategic and financial consulting services as a trusted advisor to entrepreneurs and company Boards.

Janne Haveri

Janne Haveri

Industrial Design Wizard

Janne is a true artist at heart with an exceptional eye for automotive style and fine details that really pop! He enjoys the kind of aesthetic challenges that Retro-EV presents in combining original iconic styling with cutting-edge new technology – resulting in designs which are undeniably timeless.

Eric Owen

Eric Owen

Marketing Strategist

Eric is a goal-oriented innovator with a passion for classic vehicles and their place in the future of transportation. Organized, analytical, highly motivated, and a detail-directed problem solver, Eric excels in identifying and interviewing stakeholders and coming up with innovative solutions to solve problems, streamline process, automate, and improve. With a background in marketing, he is excited to help bring the innovation of Retro-EV to the world.

Executive Advisory Board

Chris Faust

Chris Faust

Chief Revenue Officer, Crispy Green

Chris Faust is a successful entrepreneur, leadership mentor, growth hacker, change agent and management executive. Throughout his career, Chris has helped establish and grow industry-leading brands, build high-performance executive teams and drive transformational change.

Simon P. Savyers

Simon P. Savyers

Entrepreneur & Founder of FLAG

FLAG represents a growing number of selectively chosen Educated Elegant Entrepreneurial Experts with Emotional Enthusiasm & Ethics driven by the FLAGSPIRIT of share & team-up inspiring & uniting them around the 7 E’s. The FLAG ecosystem is platform connecting Deciders, Entrepreneurs, Families & Investors worldwide around ACTS 4 GOOD.

Arnaud Pinon

Arnaud Pinon

Strategy & Business Development

Arnaud has passionately devoted nearly 30 years of his career to entrepreneurship, management and consulting. He has served as a Sr. External Advisor to McKinsey, has been a Professor in Business Schools and co-founded several startups. Arnaud is a Social Networks thought-leader, with a network in excess of 230,000 connections.

Max Sjöström

Max Sjöström

Partner, Financial Services

Max has vast experience in the mobile phone industry with Nokia & Microsoft, from R&D, Supply Chain, Market and Channel Development. Max now focuses on finance and entrepreneurial development. Max leverages the rapid changes driven by digitalization through disruptive business start-ups, always seeking maximum impact.

Founder’s story

The inception of Retro-EV began with a tale of two grandfathers and the burning desire to be an “Inventor.”

It all started when I was about 10. I remember spending time with my ‘gear-head’ grandfather back in Minnesota, United States, watching he and my uncle painstakingly restore and perfect unique classic cars from barnyard finds to award-winning, concourse condition. My job was to sort the endless bins of nuts, bolts and washers and above all, not to scratch any paint with the zippers on my jacket.

They patiently taught me how ‘real cars’ were built and how to care for a classic like a fine Swiss watch. I learned to respect the creativity (sometimes improvisation) required to restore a classic, and was fascinated by the early engineering exhibited in these stylish, iconic cars combined with the passion for the artistry of their mechanical designs.

From carburetors to hand-hammered coachwork, everything had a purpose and everything took meticulous attention to detail to set it right against the ravages of time. I’ll never forget seeing classic marvels such as the 1932 Lincoln, complete with custom K.B. Willoughby dual-cowl limousine coachwork and its shining v-12 engine that seemed the size of a locomotive to me at the time.

Then there was my ‘electronics-centric’ grandfather, an entrepreneurial Canadian that brought the rapidly expanding world of electronic components to mid-western United States by establishing the first electronics firm in the area. He was always finding new, far-away sources for everything from transformers and resistors to transistor radios and tape recorders.

In fact, he brought back the first ‘solar cell’ I’d ever seen from Japan in the 1970’s (tiny an inefficient, but an absolute marvel to me nonetheless). I was hooked and determined to become “an inventor” from a very early age. Something about combining amazing mechanical designs with emerging technology has always been a fascination for me.

Those formative years eventually led me to my own engineering career (which now spans 38+ years) driven by a similar desire to know how everything works and to always deliver passion and creativity to the job of envisioning, engineering, fabricating and perfecting something new, functional and beautiful.

In the background of my global engineering challenges, accomplishments and learning, I’ve always had the car-bug and felt a particular affinity to the timeless designs of those gorgeous sports cars of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s.

Like the rest of the engineering community, I’ve been fascinated to see the resurgence of interest in electric drivetrains as the next logical evolution in automotive locomotion. The early signs of this trend caught my imagination over 10 years ago and has held it to this day.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of driving a beautifully engineered and aesthetically pleasing car down a winding sunny road! Owning and enjoying these lovely cars and that feeling of freedom, the self-expression of style and the individuality they inspire is a wonderful privilege for anyone.

Unfortunately, much of the sheer joy of the experience is often curbed by the practical realities of the perennially problematic petrol drivetrains inherent in the cars of this era. How many of us have had an outing spoiled by engines that won’t start, smoking exhaust, endless overheating or flat-out failures: mechanical, electrical, plumbing, you name it!

My inspiration to found e-Drive Retro in Estoniain 2015, and subsequently to grow the concept into Retro- EV in Finland in 2018 (which acquired e-Drive Retro) stems from all these influences.

After a decade of observing the rapid advancement of EV technology, I became convinced that it was now feasible to substitute a contemporary EV-drivetrain for the original petrol counterpart to improve, rather than degrade, the driving experience.

Further, I was struck by the recognition that the iconic cars of eras past are falling further behind in practicality for actual driving. Think about the time and cost necessary to properly rebuild, and then continuously maintain, any vintage piston engine today (most are also incompatible with unleaded and ethanol-treated fuels, etc.). Beyond that, due to their egregious emissions, more cities are banning older vehicles from public streets entirely, as a consequence of our urgent need to recover the ecosystem we depend on to live.

As a result, I came to the conclusion that the time was finally right to bring these worlds together in new and innovative ways, while at the same time fulfill my destiny to bring the goal inspired my two grandfathers to fruition.

By finding kindred spirits from the automotive and electronical engineering worlds, we have been able to realize this vision. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have the privilege of working with our amazing team. Together, we are creating a spectacular new category of authentic classics that are transformed into iconic, zero-emissions EV’s which are truly timeless!

Michael M. Richardson
Founder & CEO