‘Electric Vehicle mass adoption is a 20 year project. We’re halfway there, and we’re right on track.’ We catch up with Erik Fairbairn, Founder & CEO, Pod Point

Excepting historic attempts like the Detroit Electric (1907), or the GM EV-1 (1996), the Electric Vehicle (EV) is basically 10 years old – Nissan’s LEAF and Tesla’s Roadster became available to order in the UK around 2010. By 2030 effectively all cars sold in the UK will be full battery electric. Here’s why:

Environmental case
Pod Point’s central mission stems from the belief that travel shouldn’t damage the Earth. And the electrification of transport will radically reduce its environmental footprint. But, while that mission won’t energise everyone, one of the real privileges of working in this space is that the electric car is both the green option and the better option.

Much better cars
Over the past 10 years EVs have already become the best, fastest cars ever made. Nothing says “obsolete” like the futile roaring of the “sports” car struggling behind you. And while the yawning gulf in performance between EVs and internal combustion engined (ICE) cars will only grow, the EV’s superiority is not limited to performance.

Modern EVs are technological marvels, self-driving supercomputers that actually improve after you buy them, thanks to software updates and drive-train simplicity.

More convenient experience
The experience of owning an EV is also miles ahead. ICE drivers often fear losing the refueling experience, as though it’s a sacred/enjoyable aspect of modern life. It’s neither. Let us recap:

● During the <5% of your car’s life that it is mobile, you detour to a petrol station.
● You freely pump explosive into your tank.
● You spill some explosive over your hands and/or trousers withdrawing the pump.
● You part with vast sums of cash.
● You depart – safe in the knowledge that, in the UK alone, ICE cars only accidentally catch fire over 100 times a day , killing just under 10 people a month.

Conversely, today’s EV drivers awake each day to a full battery, offering in excess of 250 miles in all conditions. NB: 75% of UK drivers park off-street at home, much of the remaining 25% will have the same experience at the end of the work day. Top up charging is available at your other destinations like supermarkets, gyms etc. Rarely required en route charging fits a natural comfort break during a >4 hour drive. Realising that cars are stationary objects that occasionally (~5% of the time) move is often the most important factor in understanding why EV ownership is superior. With low cost charging infrastructure in the locations where your car spends its time parked (particularly home, work) it will use the ~95% to fuel itself.

Hypergrowth is coming
And yet, in March this year total plug-in vehicle sales accounted for about 7%, most were full battery EVs, just under half had the transitional technology of the plug-in hybrid EV (PHEVs).

Having achieved 7% in 10.5 years, can we grow sales by >90% in 9.5 years?

Consumer behaviour is all too happy to follow exponential change, if we can adjust the fundamentals of the car buying decision.

Overcoming barriers
So what’s preventing the 93% from making the switch? Traditionally a combination of 3 key barriers:

For virtually all drivers, this barrier is overcome. >200 miles in all weather conditions on a single charge, with meaningful recharge en route in circa 30 minutes. Yes petrol tanks do more, but that’s not really relevant.

Infrastructure won’t be fixed in one go, it will grow and evolve just ahead of uptake. We need smart, easy to use charge points available everywhere you park. That’s Pod Point’s job.

Whilst EVs are ~4x cheaper to run, in capital cost, EVs are still expensive. EV prices directly relate to the cost of batteries. Those costs are plummeting. In a matter of months the EV will become materially cheaper to manufacture than an equivalent ICE car.

This means by the mid-2020s these much better, easier to use products will cost vastly less to own. You’d be mad to buy anything else. And with huge investments in this space from traditional OEMs and new entrants, there will be plenty to choose from.

We’re about to witness total automotive disruption.

Not diesel vs petrol – think Netflix vs Blockbuster, Nokia vs the iPhone.


>90% EV penetration by 2030? No problem. And a better world.

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