Minister of science and technology, China
Chosen because: Gang, 58, is a former professor of automotive engineering who's now helping to set the course of vehicle electrification in the world's largest automotive market. After earning his doctoral degree in Germany in 1990, he worked in Audi's r&d department. In 2000, Gang authored an influential paper on clean vehicle technology, resulting in his appointment to a position leading EV projects in China's ministry of science and technology. He became minister in 2007. Since then, China has initiated incentives to increase hybrid and EV penetration -- a key step in the nation's efforts to improve air quality and reduce petroleum use.
Quote: Gang co-hosted an EV forum in Beijing in September 2009 with the U.S. Department of Energy. Although a translation is not available, one report said that in his introductory talk, Gang left no doubt as to the nation's intent to be a leader in vehicle electrification: "He proudly proclaimed that China was building the industrial foundation for EV manufacturing."