In this month’s Q&A: Modern Fleet talks to Allan O’Donnell, technical director, New Markets, Easee about being a sparky and how the EV industry is not just like the automotive, but a tech sector that happens to be on four wheels
Favourite holiday destination?
I’d choose Donegal, Ireland. It’s a place that allows you to disconnect from technology and any sense of time.
What car do you drive?
We have a Nissan Leaf as a family car, but I ride an electric moped to the office.
How and when did you get into this industry?
It was around 2014. Elon Musk really got me interested in EV technology as he happened to be creating history with Tesla.
How can we encourage more people into the industry?
We need to bust the myth that EV industry is just like the automotive industry but with batteries. It’s actually the other way round – a tech and engineering sector that happens to be on four wheels.
What are your industry predictions for the next 12 months?
I think we’ll see more options for commercial fleet operators. The choice is pretty limited at the moment, and one of the biggest challenges is that the weight of goods affects the range of travel. Operational efficiencies can make pricing more competitive for large fleets.
What is the strangest or most challenging job you have done?
Changing lightbulbs in swimming pools.
If you had your time again, would you have followed the same career path?
Yes. Starting at 16 and getting my hands dirty as an apprentice electrician gave me the work ethic I have today. I used to curse those unforgiving tradespeople at the time, but looking back, they set me up for any obstacles to overcome. Being an electrician also gave me the flexibility and finances I needed to succeed academically in parallel to my working life.
If you had been reincarnated, who or what do you think you were in a past life?
Still a sparky! I secretly dream of getting back in the van one day, throwing away my laptop and replacing it with a toolbox.
If you could invite four people to a dinner party – living or dead – who would they be – and why?
I’d like two dinner parties please, as these would be very different conversations:
- Thomas Edison and Mick Jagger.
- My family (counting as one) and my gran, as they never got to meet.
What are your passions outside the workplace?
I love swimming and I have really missed this – from you know what – over the past 18 months. I’ve not been brave enough for the open water swimming boom yet though.
If they made a film about your life who would play you?
I’ll take a pass on that one.
Describe yourself in five words?
Open, happy, enthusiastic and electric.