Neil Isaacson is one of the leading figures in the expansion of public electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the UK. He has worked tirelessly as CEO of Liberty Charge to help roll out chargepoints at the local authority level, giving more people a place to plug in their electric vehicle (EV).
Neil talked us through his motivation to work in the field and how he expects the charging infrastructure market to change in the coming years.
EDs: What took you into the EV charging infrastructure business?
I regained my passion for wanting to make a positive impact on the planet with my previous employer and realised that electric vehicles (EVs) play a key role in achieving the UK Government’s Net Zero ambitions.
With the formation of Liberty Charge, it was clear that we could help transform the landscape at a scale and pace that few others could.
EDs: Is sustainability a big driver for you in your work?
Sustainability is the single most important driver for our work. Facilitating reliable EV charging infrastructure that is accessible to all is what is needed to instil the consumer confidence required for further EV adoption – a key element of the Government’s Net Zero target.
Everything we do considers the wider issue of sustainability, not only with regard to the impact on the planet, but making sure the business model is sustainable for all so that we create a business with longevity.
EDs: How are you supporting Local Authorities on the transition to EV?
Our goal is to support Local Authorities at every stage of the transition. To this end, we provide data-led insight on which neighbourhoods should be prioritised, based on EV adoption rates and logistical and practical site feasibility.
Utilising our Virgin Media O2 partnership and the extensive project management and installation capacity it brings, we offer speed and professional convenience in logistics. We also provide a fully-funded solution that includes ongoing maintenance.
As our business model relies on our charge points being operational at all times, we are ultimately aligned to Local Authorities’ goal of providing charging infrastructure that residents want to use.
EDs: Is public charging infrastructure in cities key to delivering on the emobility transition?
Some 40 percent of the UK’s urban residents have no access to off-street charging on a private driveway. If we are to support this considerable group in the emobility transition, then reliable public charging infrastructure that is accessible to all will be absolutely critical.
EDs: What do you see as the future of charging infrastructure for cities?
We understand there are vast swathes of different challenges that the UK’s Local Authorities are facing, and the short-term future will be about industry supporting them in overcoming the regulatory, budgetary and logistical hurdles ahead.
There is a great deal of work that needs to be done before 2030 and the sales of new petrol and diesel-fuelled cars are banned, but beyond that date, I am extremely confident that the future of charging infrastructure in cities will deliver us a greener, healthier environment.
EDs: Where do you see your career taking you?
There are many analogies that can be made between the broadband industry and that of the EV charging industry, with both being long-term infrastructure focused and where deployment in the public realm is critical. Broadband was an industry that consolidated significantly once it reached the right point of maturity, and I can see the same happening in EV charging.
I believe Liberty Charge is well-positioned to lead that consolidation and help to drive innovation in this space through collaboration. The future is incredibly exciting, and I hope to be part of those developments, in a senior leadership position.