Modern Fleet talk with David Martell, founder and CEO of start-up home EV charging company, EVIOS
Favourite holiday destination?
I’m lucky to have been to many incredible places in the world, but my favourite place has to be the south of France. The light there in the evening is amazing as the sun goes down. I have spent 40 years enjoying it and never get bored being there.
What car do you drive?
At the moment, I drive a Porsche Taycan, which is pure electric joy! Before that, I had one of the first Tesla’s in the UK. Both offer the very best of electric driving, and I’m a complete convert to electric mobility.
I have driven an EV for many years, and I recently worked out that I’ve clocked up over 250,000 electric miles since 2010. I think that alone puts me in a good position to know what I’m talking about when it comes to public and home charging!
How and when did you get into this industry?
I’ve been in the automotive industry for over 30 years in various guises. My move into the EV market began in 2008 when I could see that the motor industry would inevitably go electric. This seismic shift created a real market need for advanced charging capabilities. This need is gradually being met, but there still needs to be less focus on public charging and more attention given to charging at home, where it’s cheaper and more practical.
How can we encourage more people into the industry?
I’m not sure that we need to encourage more people into the industry. From my perspective, more and more people want to be involved in the growing EV industry. The growth of EVs has opened up the automotive landscape to new tech companies and presented new opportunities that the traditional motor industry could not.
I think this is a great thing, as competition drives technological advancements and product quality quicker than any other factor.
What are your industry predictions for the next 12 months?
The figures show that nearly a quarter of all new cars sold are now electric. This is set to grow exponentially, reaching 50% within the next three years and 100% by 2030. In response, the home EV charge market needs to expand rapidly, and the June legislation requiring all new homes to have EV charge points will certainly help with mass uptake.
I also think that consumers will become more knowledgeable about EVs over the next year or so. Part of our aim at EVIOS is to educate people about EV ownership, as we believe there is still a great deal of scepticism and misunderstanding among car buyers that may be delaying mass uptake.
What is the strangest or most challenging job you have done?
When I started Trafficmaster in 1990 I was often spotted hanging (safely!) over the side of motorway bridges, installing sensors that monitored where there was traffic congestion. You can never say I’m not one to get my hands dirty!
If you had your time again would you have followed the same career path?
Absolutely! Not many people can genuinely say that, but I mean it. I’ve been part of some game-changing companies, had many career highlights, met incredible people and been part of this global industry during its electric revolution – what’s not to love?
If you had been reincarnated, who or what do you think you were in a past life?
I dream of having been Isambard Kingdom Brunel, as the engineering feats he achieved in transport engineering were truly ground-breaking: bridges, tunnels and railways – all so elegantly done.
If you could invite four people to a dinner party – living or dead – who would they be – and why?
Great dinner party guests would be Leonardo da Vinci, Elon Musk, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison. They each managed to mix lateral thinking with an understanding of real life, and they invented many of the things we now take for granted.
What are your passions outside the workplace?
I have a passion for cars, planes, boats or anything that can get me from A to B quickly. Family is also important to me, and we spend time together as often as our busy lives allow.
If they made a film about your life who would play you?
I would like it to be me!
Describe yourself in five words?
Impatient, driven, annoying, focused, competitive.