BCI sat down with new Board Member, William (Bill) Moll, for an interview about his involvement with the lead battery industry. Bill started his tenure on the BCI Board of Directors in May 2020.
Bill joined GS Yuasa in 2002 as director of engineering for GS Battery (USA), a U.S. subsidiary working in industrial and automotive lead batteries. In 2006 Bill started GS Yuasa Lithium Power (GYLP) as the first company outside of GS Yuasa Japan targeted at growing the market for lithium-ion battery technology. Bill was appointed as president of GS Yuasa Energy Systems (GYES), a new company incorporating the industrial battery business (both lead and lithium-ion) into a single business unit. GYLP became a direct subsidiary of the new company, GYES, and Bill retains the role of Chairman of the Board.
How did you get involved in the lead battery industry?
Bill’s first job after he graduated with a degree in chemical engineering, was as a product design engineer working on VRLA batteries for EV and motive power with GNB Technologies in Lombard, Ill. He says the experience was exciting at the time; I worked on electric buses and other projects even though, back then, the VRLA technology was not ready for the demands of the application. Back in the 1990s, I remember hearing about the “rocking chair” battery; my first exposure to lithium-ion technology that has emerged as THE competition to VRLA and PbA battery technology.
As they say, the rest is history. I’ve worked in manufacturing, quality assurance, engineering management and company operations ever since.
2. What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry?
In terms of PbA batteries, the technology was mature when I started, but since then it has improved dramatically with enhanced flooded batteries, nano-carbon, grid and plate manufacturing, and other materials improvement. Lead batteries today are so much better than those made just 10 years ago. That’s progress in an industry that was thought to have peaked with the early VRLA.
The other change is the adoption of lithium-ion batteries in many applications where VRLA batteries used to dominate. I have worked in both technologies and while li-ion is making headway in energy storage, EV/HEV/PHEV and UPS, there will always be areas where the VRLA battery will win on cost and performance versus more expensive technologies.
3. What do you value about BCI?
I have been involved with BCI to some degree since the late 1990s. Some of my staff have served on several of the committees and working groups. BCI has been a great source of industry information as well as a forum for communicating industry wide issues that affect us all. The wealth of information that is shared by BCI members really helps all of us to be prepared for issues and challenges that may arise.
The involvement of BCI in regulatory and environmental issues shows the type of leadership and stewardship that all of the industry members can appreciate and support.