Interview: Erik Fairbairn, Founder & CEO of POD Point

Erik Fairbairn
Erik Fairbairn

Today we are delighted to publish our interview with Erik Fairbairn, Founder & CEO of POD Point, giving us another expert opinion from inside the world of electric vehicles. POD Point is one of the U.K.’s fastest growing technology companies, offering electric vehicle charging solutions to both the domestic and the corporate market. We are certain you will find the interview extremely informative and a very interesting read:

Question 1: How long have you been involved in the electric vehicle market

I’ve been involved in the EV market since 2009. POD Point was founded in 2009. Ironically there weren’t really any EVs in 2009 (I consider the Nissan Leaf launched in 2010 to be the first real EV), so selling EV charge points was quite a big ask in 2009!

Question 2: Do you think that electric vehicles will outnumber their gasoline/petrol counterparts in the next 20 years?

Yes, undoubtedly. Earlier this year, I was of the opinion that that we would hit 7% of new car sales in 2020, 20% by 2025, and 85% by 2030.

I now think, with all the scandal developing around NOx and CO2 emissions, were going to see an even more rapid movement towards EV and zero emission vehicles as the general public realise the true level of pollution which internal combustion engines are actually producing.

Question 3: Are governments doing enough to support the electric vehicle market?

Well, I’m never one to suggest doing less but in truth, the government is doing some good here, but I do think they should be going further. Specifically with an ongoing strategy to increase taxation on higher polluting vehicles while simultaneously using that additional tax revenue to help fund the rollout of electric cars.

Done right, this could be a net zero revenue position for the government.

There are various EVs and hybrid vehicles across nearly all of the main segments now. Buying a highly polluting car is a customer choice, not a necessity in most cases. We should, as a responsible country be taxing people who pollute very heavily, and strongly encouraging the adoption of ultra low emission transport.

Question 4: Why has the electric vehicle sector seemingly failed so often in the past?

I think “Failed so often in the past” is a bit sensationalist, but I know what you are saying.

A number of items had to occur for EV to happen. Battery technology, great vehicles, general public understanding of the environment. All three of these are now happening. We have a public which is beginning to fully understand the issues with tailpipe emissions, we have battery technology which is capable of providing cars with 250 mile range, and we have a growing selection of really good vehicles available on the market.

Now we have these three things, EV demand is rocketing upwards.

Question 5: Is battery charging technology the final piece of the jigsaw?

We need two things: Compelling product, and more battery capacity per £.

We’re close on both. Cars like the Tesla Model S, and the BMW i3 are beginning to show people that EVs are a better. The electric car experience is better than that of internal combustion engine cars, and that is what we need. EVs must feel to the consumer like the significant step forward that they are, and we are seeing that now.

Secondly, we need 200 mile range cars at a lower price. Tesla has proven that 200 mile cars are possible, but currently at a high price. We’ll see a step change in EV sales when cars hit the £20k for 200 miles range point.

Question 6: What other general comments would you like to make about the electric vehicle market?

Working in the EV market at the moment is a privilege. It has been 100 years since we last changed the way we power personal transport – the last transition was when we moved from a horse to internal combustion engines as our main source of automotive power!

POD Point is right at the forefront of this, and through running POD Point, I’ve got the ability to make a significant contribution to moving UK (and soon Europe) onto zero emission personal transport.

Not many people are lucky enough to be able to work on a mission as important as that!

Currently we are crowdfunding to accelerate our mission of putting “a POD Point everywhere you park for an hour or more”. Anyone can get involved but we’re specifically inviting the EV community to invest so that they can share in our success but also be a real part of these significant changes in personal transport. You can invest or find out more on our campaign pages now: Electric Equity & Open Charge Bond #InvestAware