Kwabena “Q” Johnson is an automotive industry expert, consultant, innovator, and the president of both Plug Zen L.L.C. and Q Works L.L.C. With a keen mind for problem solving, Q is focused on developing new technologies, processes, and strategies for application within the automotive industry. He collaborates with original equipment manufacturers and automotive tier suppliers to pilot, launch, and fully implement these innovations and strategies.
Q’s automotive career flourished at Ford Motor Company where from 1996 to 2007 he worked in the New Model Development Center as a Prototype Specialist and Lean Management Consultant. In this role, Q worked closely with engineers and vendors to develop new products and processes (incorporating Six Sigma for error proofing) to ensure future vehicle models were produced to the highest quality standards, employing the most efficient methods. Most of these vehicles were alternative fuel vehicles (i.e., hybrid electric, CNG, natural gas, etc.), which gave Q insight into the technologies that showed the most promise – electric vehicles (EV).
In 2008, Q joined Detroit Electric, an electric car company, as Project Manager. He assisted senior management with developing flexible production processes, which enabled the company to build electric vehicles on multiple platforms in various production environments. Q was integral in helping Detroit Electric to identify key strategic partners and vendors that were critical to manufacturing. He also invested a significant amount of time creating strategies for technologies and processes he developed at Detroit Electric, such as 3D printing, modular build process, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. His entrepreneurial drive and insight propelled him to launch Q Works and go on to collaborate with other start-up companies, such as Walker-Miller Energy Consultants and Adopt-A-Watt.
Prior to joining Ford Motor Company, Q was a Marine Officer Candidate and an alumnus of the University of Michigan Dearborn, Mechanical Automotive Engineering program. Q is an active member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and has worked with multiple teams to develop electric vehicle charging stations. As an entrepreneur, Q is committed to helping the emerging entrepreneur community and supports various non-profit organizations in Metropolitan Detroit. He is passionate about learning new things and driven by continuous improvement.