What car do you drive?
I drive a fully electric Hyundai Kona Ultimate. It’s a fantastic car with over 250 mile real-world range and level 2 autonomous driving. It competes comfortably with top end cars from Tesla and large European manufacturers. My only complaint is the blue-link app which needs a bit of an overhaul.
My next electric vehicle is likely to be a motorcycle. Having parted ways with my 600cc petrol Yamaha a few years ago, I test rode the electric Zero SR/S motorcycle at Fully Charged Live and just thinking about it now puts a grin on my face!
How and when did you get into this industry?
My grandad was a radar engineer in the merchant navy and from a very young age he inspired me to get into engineering. He bought me my first soldering kit when I was 11 years old and from then on I’ve always marvelled at the magic of electricity and the incredible things it can be used for.
My first job in the energy sector was working for National Grid in the National Control Centre where electricity supply and demand are balanced second-by-second to keep the lights on across Great Britain. Looking back now, I can’t think of a more exciting place to kick-start my career. In a later role at National Grid, working in the Group Strategy, I met Nick Woolley who went on to co-found ev.energy with Chris Darby. It wasn’t long before I joined their tiny but ambitious startup, which 4 years later, has grown into the global scale-up people know today.
Tell us a bit more about V2X-Flex?
V2X-Flex is all about industry collaboration, removing barriers to V2X (vehicle-to-everything) technology, and putting electric vehicle drivers at the centre of bi-directional charging. The project builds on ev.energy’s world-leading smart charging platform, incorporating bi-directional charging technologies to unlock an exciting new range of EV charging products and services including vehicle-to-home (V2H), vehicle-to-business (V2B) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G).
In the first phase of the project we have been speaking to a broad range of people to really understand what current and future EV drivers really want and expect from a bi-directional charging service. We have also been working with automakers, chargers manufacturers and energy utilities and recently published a V2X white-paper with 8 step roadmap to “Unlocking barriers to V2X energy flexibility”.
We are hoping to launch a consumer V2X trial later this year so keep an eye out for updates and get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in getting involved.
What are your industry predictions for the next 12 months?
I like to leave predictions to economists and meteorologists but here goes:
Electric vehicles will become mainstream as today’s lease vehicles roll into the second hand market. This poses an exciting challenge for everyone in the industry and companies will need to adapt or die as we say goodbye to the ‘early adopter’
Bi-directional V2X (vehicle-to-everything) charging will be a game changer for EV drivers and the grid. Although not suitable for everyone, it will capture the broader public’s imagination and drive greater awareness and engagement with smart energy usage.
What is the strangest or most challenging job you have done?
In the early days of ev.energy, while developing new business and running smart charging programs, I spent several months setting up our customer success team as we began onboarding thousands of EV drivers onto the first version our app. Speaking with hundreds of EV drivers and charge point installers every week put me on the front-line of understanding people’s real challenges with EV charging. Alongside growing the business, this was incredibly insightful as well as somewhat exhausting! It has given me huge respect for the brilliant service our customer success team are providing to over 100,000 EV drivers today and an appreciation of how valuable direct feedback from providing in-house support is for developing new products and services.
If you had your time again, would you have followed the same career path?
Yes, I have no regrets in my career journey as in every job I’ve done, I’ve always challenged myself and continued learning. The two things that motivate me most are working on difficult problems that have real-world impacts and working with inspiring people.
If you had been reincarnated, who or what do you think you were in a past life?
I like to be fully focused on the present rather than speculate too far into the past or future. All that is certain is what’s here and now and I believe in making the most of that opportunity.
If you could invite four people to a dinner party – living or dead – who would they be – and why?
So, I’ve gone for a mixed group of guests, which could create some heated discussion! It would be great to pick their brains about how we can better tackle climate change and get their perspectives from science, business, innovation and politics.
Dr. Corinne Le Quéré is a famous climate change scientist who provides evidence-based advice to inform governments on their response to climate change. She has authored multiple International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports and once used a 100,000-year-old chunk of Antarctic ice in a gin and tonic.
Ellen MacArthur broke the world record for fastest person to sail solo round the globe in 2005. After retiring as a professional sailor, she set up a foundation focused on how to build a circular economy, rethinking how we can decouple economic activity from the consumption of finite resources.
Wael Sawan is the new CEO of Shell. I’d love to get him in a room with Corinne and Ellen and see how they might influence the corporate strategy of one of the world’s largest oil companies.
Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and politician who was famous for saying “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. It’s always good to have a mediator at the table and someone with the ability to bring people together who start with different worldviews.
What are your passions outside the workplace?
I love sailing and the challenge of reading the wind and shaping the sails to optimise a boat’s performance. Whether it’s competitive racing with a professional team or spending nights on the open ocean, it’s one of the only times when my mind is not thinking about anything else.
Competitive sailing has given me the opportunity to visit incredible places and meet wonderful people, including my wife. Water covers 71% of the earth’s surface and to anyone who hasn’t tried it, it’s never too late to start a new adventure.
Describe yourself in five words?
Passionate, motivated, curious, innovative and caring.