Nils Hofmann is the team’s Engineering Lead. His passion for engineering started in a machine shop in the South West of Germany. After completing his civil duty in the German service, Nils studied mechanical engineering at the University of Cooperate Education in Stuttgart Germany and at the Open University of London. He graduated with a master’s degree and began his engineering career at Mercedes-Benz to implement his thesis into a crankshaft production line. Nils was promoted to an Engineering Manager and Expert on Bolts and Connections. He and his team were the first ones to build a full-sized prototype, that was entirely designed digitally. After 12 years with Mercedes Nils moved to the United States and married his long-distance love Heather and became the Head of Continuous Improvement at Local Motors (EV startup). His German roots enabled him to support the communication challenges in a globally distributed development team operating in different markets, cultures, laws and demographics. The Olli, the world’s first 3D-printed, automated, electric smart shuttle was among his legacy products. As Director of Labs Nils championed the technical partnership program and managed the day-to-day operations of the R'n'D lab. Nils will also lead our European expansion as DE changes the landscape of energy production around the world.