This month Modern Fleet talks to CEO at Connected Kerb’s CEO Chris Pateman-Jones about having the first and youngest woman in space to dinner, being an octopus and remembering Ibiza
Favourite holiday destination?
No favourite…I just love holidays that take me to places I haven’t been, and Ibiza… can’t forget about Ibiza.
What car do you drive?
How and when did you get into this industry?
I was headhunted by the founders that set up Connected Kerb. I was already looking at moving into the EV industry, but it was their collective vision (and the arrival of my first son, Anderson) which motivated me to leave the comfort of my role at EY.
How can we encourage more people into the industry?
I think people will naturally start to migrate as the industry matures, but for now it’s still a new, fast-growth, purpose-led industry, so I see real opportunity for people with much more diverse backgrounds to come across and shake up the norm, which is truly exciting.
What are your industry predictions for the next 12 months?
I see more vehicle models coming to market, more vehicles on the road, but still the majority of these being charged on affluent driveways due to the lack of convenient and reliable public charging infrastructure – which is where our mission comes into play! I also hope to see a focus-shift to the efficiency of vehicles, rather than purely the range and battery size. We should be pushing for miles per kW to be the key measure and one of the key marketing messages – greater efficiency drives affordability and sustainability.
What is the strangest or most challenging job you have done?
When I was 25, after completing my PhD, I joined Bechtel and was quickly sent to the UAE to work on the development of a large gasification plant in the empty quarter. The conditions were pretty tough and the project was in a bad way when the team I was in arrived. It was an alien environment to me, not only being in the desert on long rotations away from family and the creature comforts of home, but also in a workplace where at that point, women were not allowed (oilfield rules, not those of Bechtel). It was an extremely tough assignment, but as is often the case when things are tough and you share an experience, I made some amazing lifelong friends and learnt a huge amount.
If you had your time again would you have followed the same career path?
I’m inspired by what we do at Connected Kerb and within the broader sustainability sector. I did my PhD in ecology, so if I could have time again it might involve slightly more wildlife… though we do have a Gecko, a Limpet and a Chameleon at Connected Kerb!
If you had been reincarnated, who or what do you think you were in a past life?
Not sure on the past life, but for a future life, and sticking with the wildlife theme, I’d like to be an octopus…having the opportunity to be another intelligent creature, looking at the world, but with a completely differently-evolved intelligence would be cool.
If you could invite four people to a dinner party – living or dead – who would they be – and why?
David Attenborough, Charles Darwin, Ray Mears and Valentina Tereshkova…and, if we’re allowed, Yotam Ottolenghi, so we have some good grub.
What are your passions outside the workplace?
The environment and being outdoors, ideally with my family and friends, building dinosaurs with my sons, and painting!