Q&A: Zak Houlahan CEO of Enerveo


 Favourite holiday destination?

Port Portals in Majorca – I love the mix of the climate, people, lifestyle, food and the wine and catching up with old friends. I’ve been going there since my childhood and have got to know many of the community there.

What car do you drive?

I must confess to being something of a long standing ‘petrol head’ and I have a Mercedes SL, however I have found, to my surprise, that driving our family EV, VW Golf, is just as much fun!

How and when did you get into this industry? (with regards to EV work)

I spent a large chunk of my career in transportation – from aerospace to waste and understand the myriad of electric/hydrogen applications for not only cars, but for buses and planes too. In the aviation sector, TCR placed a huge number of electric fleets across the UK and EU airports, as well as managed the install of a huge number of chargers. I am proud that in each industry I have worked in I have increased the use of hybrid and EV assets substantially.

How can we encourage more people into the industry? (with regards to EVs)

In a word: Apprenticeships – at Enerveo, we have taken, on average, over 40 each year since 2008.

EV is already a hugely attractive destination as it combines the opportunity to help save the planet and meet carbon reduction targets, with the chance to work with emerging technology and also a bunch of bright, inspirational people.  The work that we do at Enerveo, is at the very heart of building out and maintaining.

What are your industry predictions for the next 12 months? (with regards to EVs)

EV availability will increase, yet consumer demand will most likely be impacted by the economy, whilst fleet demand is high.  The speed of the installation of public space chargers needs to pick up, and sharply – they have only doubled in three years, during which time EV’s on the road have more than quadrupled.  At Enerveo, we are ready to play our part in the growth.

Enerveo has completed about 10% of the public charger installations so far and also manage over 1 million street light columns and are ‘go to’ experts in connecting ‘DNO to CPO’.

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

My current one without a doubt holds the biggest challenge and is the most worthwhile. We have first class people at Enerveo and are committed to fulfilling our role in the 2050 net zero target. We are experts at electrical connections and ongoing maintenance.

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

Pretty much ….. unless I could have made it as a professional boxer, unfortunately I didn’t have the gift or stamina! I love transformations and feel at home driving positive change for UK EV and renewables to improve our world.

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

I would be content to have been an honest, hardworking, kind person. Although I love exploration and archaeology so being Graham Hancock would be a nice alternative life.

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

Jeff Goldblum, King Charles, Kano and Sam Rockwell.  I think that would be a great dynamic for a good evening, full of laughs and great stories.

What are your passions outside the workplace?

I grew up with boxing and I have seen it help many people through tough times. I love seeing people reach their potential and push themselves beyond the limits they thought they had.

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

If I was able to pick it would be Kano from Top Boy.

Describe yourself in five words?

Truthful, empathetic, reflective, driven and vulnerable.


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