Modern Fleet Q&A – Alex Hinchcliffe, Director of Public Charging at Mer UK


Favourite holiday destination?

Without a doubt, Sydney. I lived there for 10 years and have a strange parallel life with a set of friends that I only meet virtually at present. As well as great beaches, especially Tamarara Beach, and unbelievably good coffee, it’s where I turned my life around. And where I became a coffee snob.

What car do you drive?

I drive an Audi e-tron GT. I’ve driven Evs since 2017 and this is my fourth. It’s by far the best I’ve driven.

How and when did you get into this industry?

When amazing opportunities present themselves, you just have to grab them. I was working as a personal trainer and one of my clients was looking to invest in the EV charging market. He wanted someone to set up and run the business. So, I took it on, with zero knowledge about the industry, and made it happen. It was very much a voyage of exploration.

How can we encourage more people into the industry?

It would be great if people’s mindsets changed. If they considered their real-world, day to day journeys, they’d see how suitable Evs are rather than thinking about making it from Newcastle to Cornwall in one go. That’s the kind of journey that people would only do once every two or three years. It’s about re-educating people.

And I think it comes down to experience. Very few people drive an EV and don’t like it. They’re much more fun to drive, as well as being quieter, greener, etc. We still need to improve the infrastructure. We need greater reliability and availability in the network. There should be an abundance of rapid charging sockets so it’s more like the petrol forecourt experience, but pleasanter and cleaner.

What are your industry predictions for the next 12 months?

I think we’ll see an increase in ultra-low emission zones or clean air zones come into effect. We could also see an emergence of market reactive pricing to offset energy volatility. The energy source price at the moment is at an all-time high, so discussions around real-time peak pricing tariff capability in a commercial space would be a step forward. I also think we’ll see the emergence of more commercial vehicle charging hubs, especially for long wheelbase vehicles to charge in public.

What is the strangest or most challenging job you have done?

Probably setting up a chargepoint operator from scratch with no knowledge. It was more strange than challenging, because it was all new. Not just to me, it was new to everybody at that time, so I had no model to follow and no one to learn from.

If you had your time again would you have followed the same career path?

Yes, I would. Although I would have got into the fitness industry sooner. The disciplines that taught me have carried over into so many other areas of my life. When you study the human anatomy and the biometrics and physiology of an individual, it gives you systemic analytics to optimise that person’s performance. Which translates to the business world as well. But what it did for me was build my confidence and my self-esteem so I could take on a challenge like the transition to EV charging.

If you had been reincarnated, who or what do you think you were in a past life?

A teacher. My ethos in life is to help and develop others.

If you could invite four people to a dinner party – living or dead – who would they be – and why?

  • Sir Bobby Robson, I’m a huge football fan especially of Newcastle and England. I’d quiz him on aspects of his managerial career.
  • Elon Musk for a visionary’s perspective, and what’s next for Tesla.
  •  An inspirational strength coach called Charles Poliquin who coached over 800 Olympic medalists in 20 different disciplines.
  •  And Sir Billy Connolly to bring it all together with laughter.

What are your passions outside the workplace?

My family. I have two boys and we enjoy a lot of sports together, from swimming and tennis to golf, we’ve joined a club with Grandpa. We have also joined a long-term mixed martial arts programme together.

If they made a film about your life who would play you?

I want to say Tom Hardy. He’s a versatile actor and very watchable, I’d like to watch him play me.

Describe yourself in five words?

Ambitious. Passionate. Enthusiastic. Optimistic. Motivational.


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