Q&A: Erik Fairbairn, Founder and CEO, Pod Point


Favourite holiday destination?

My two favourite activities are cycling and skiing and my best holidays revolve around those two. That said, my greatest cycling holidays are actually long distance rides, so my favourite holiday destination has to be the Alps.

What car do you drive?

I’ve driven a bunch of EVs now, currently we have an Audi e-Tron SUV and a Model Y. Although I don’t agree with all his opinions, I’m a huge fan of Elon Musk’s business achievements and have driven a number of Teslas. As well as our Model Y I’m eager for the Model X to return to sale once again – they’re great for getting the family to the Alps with all the ski gear!

How and when did you get into this industry?

To some extent I got in before there really was an industry back in late 2008 after I’d sold my first business – a supercar club called Ecurie 25 – and wanted to work on something with a purpose. I decided the mission of that business would be that travel shouldn’t damage the earth. And after a bit of thought on how best to contribute to that (starting a car company to make EVs seemed too daunting and capital intensive), I settled on charging infrastructure as a big opportunity, before I founded Pod Point in March 2009. The EV industry gradually became a tangible thing from the launch of the Nissan LEAF in 2010/11.

How can we encourage more people into the industry?

In my experience people tend to be naturally pretty keen to enter our industry! And I think they’re absolutely right to be. The growth ahead of us is significant to the point of being intimidating, and at Pod Point, you’re contributing to a very motivating and worthwhile mission.

What are your industry predictions for the next 12 months?

We’ve had a slight cooling of EV sales growth in the back half of 2022 – still growing, but not as fast as the industry has been used to. I hope in the next 12 months we’ll see the supply chain constraints that have caused that slow down easing and OEMs will start delivering EVs at a rate that keeps up with demand. We’re currently hugely EV supply constrained and lead times are showing that. We need more EVs on the road to grow the charging infrastructure faster.

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

In truth it’s probably founding Pod Point! In 2023 EVs seem inevitable – they’re today’s technology as much as they’re the future. But that was not the story in 2009! There were a good number of years where I felt like I’d done something a little eccentric. And, of course, it’s been immensely challenging, but there’s definitely been some strange stories over the years.

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

Yes. 100%. I love being an entrepreneur. I love running businesses. And I love contributing towards a meaningful mission. Pod Point has given me scope to do all those things. And while I’m fortunate enough to have seen it succeed so far, in truth I’ve enjoyed every single day pretty equally – be that the highs (we IPO’d at the London Stock Exchange in November 2021) or the lows (tough days in the early years when it wasn’t clear the company was going to keep going). I love it and I appreciate how fortunate I’ve been to get to do this and have the support of my family to throw myself into it.

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

I have absolutely no clue. I’m not sure I have a good frame of reference to even think of an answer! I guess someone who was driven by a mission, and managed to create some positive change, but I’m not sure who that would be…

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

Definitely Elon. I’d love to have Dave Brailsford talk about marginal gains and cycling, and Stephen Hawking to talk about the universe and black holes and all that stuff. And finally let’s go for Sasha – he can DJ (I have a slight obsession with Northern Exposure!).

What are your passions outside the workplace?

My family is number one, shortly followed by cycling – sometimes I even manage to combine the two and get my family to join me on a bike ride. I’m also rather passionate about electric cars, charging and all things technology – I’m lucky that I’ve found a way to combine my passions with my work!

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

I’d choose Ewan McGregor – I loved what he did on Long Way Round, only I’d love to do it on a bike, not a motorbike, and of course he is Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Describe yourself in five words?

Enthusiastic. Positive. Impatient. Driven. Dad.


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