EV SUMMIT 2023: Key quotes from Keynotes

Nearly two weeks on, we’re still reflecting on the EV SUMMIT 2023. 

Throughout the EV SUMMIT 2023, we heard from some of the most influential and forward-thinking figures in the industry in the Keynote Speaker slots. In a year filled with media controversy, delays, and dubiousness, we’ve also had some of the most important breakthroughs and milestones the sector has ever seen in the UK and beyond.

Let’s take a look at what the EV SUMMIT 2023’s Keynote Speakers had to say…

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Day One

Ian Plummer, Commercial Director, Auto Trader

“We need to focus on working together with clarity and consistency to fight that FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) factor. We need to help people overcome their fears with empathy, if they’re wrong, they shouldn’t be belittled, but educated and treated with empathy.”

Michael Oates, Country Sales and Delivery Manager, Tesla UK

“Once the early adopters have adopted, we need to get in front of new audiences, those considering electric cars, or those considering without the financial means, that’s why second-hand EV markets is so important.” 

“All of that hard work around dispelling myths and upgrading infrastructure has to happen again, and again, and again to an ever more sceptical audience.” 

Ian Johnston, Chairman, ChargeUK | CEO, Osprey Charging Network

“We’ve seen incredible growth, seeing us top over the 50,000 charge point number, which means 1 in 4 charge points was installed in the last 12 months. It took us 7 years to install the first 10,000 in the UK, the last 10,000 were installed in the last 7 months. However, nobody will say there’s enough… What needs to happen for there to be more charging infrastructure sooner?”

“When government and media see the likes of Shell and Osprey so aligned, that there’s a credibility on the subject matter that goes far beyond what any one company can reach on it’s own.” 

Alaa El-Huni, Chief Business Officer, CAFU

“Currently with static infrastructure one of the problems we’re facing is that we want to have assets everywhere… When it’s mobile, one mobile charger is enough…. It’s able to scale modularly as demand develops elsewhere.”

“Right now with a lot of the infrastructure we’re developing, we’re not considering leveraging all this technology that has existed for a period of time.”

Reza Shaybani, Co-Founder & CEO, The EV Network

“The days of EV drivers worrying about range anxiety are dissapearing, what we’re seeing today is drivers wondering if there’ll be a charger waiting for them… and will they be in working order”

“The demand for cars is going up, we need to be ahead of that curve… the only way we can do that is by providing the infrastructure to support that growth that we all expect as an industry.” 

That brings Day One to a close. With speakers from across the world of emobility isolating the need for clear and consistent communication on the EV world to reach a whole new audience. The need to approach this challenge as a united front has never been clearer. Together, we can propel the industry forward and herald a new generation of adopters, most importantly, with empathy. 

Day Two

Louise Upton, Oxford City Council

“I don’t want to see every diesel car replaced by an electric car, I want to see every ten diesel cars replaced with one electric.”

“It’s chicken and egg, if you don’t buy EVs no-one wants to invest in infrastructure, if you don’t invest in infrastructure nobody wants to buy EVs.”

Toddington Harper, CEO, GRIDSERVE

“We need to reduce global emissions by 43% by 2030. That’s around 74 months, just over 2,000 days. Does anyone actually believe that’s possible? If you don’t then just think about the fact that we are the only people who ever have the opportunity to do something about that. Is it right that we think it’s impossible? Or is it right that we should do absolutely everything we can do and make every day count? Because history will judge us.” 

Lakshmi Moorthy, Managing Director, Arval UK

“We all know that electric cars today are relatively expensive compared to ICE cars. If we don’t have offers for people to use cars, we run the risk that electric vehicles become a privilege of the few who can afford it, so we see used electric cars as a big lever to democratize access to EVs and make it available to a wider population segment.” 

Marc Coltelli, Managing Director & Global Emobility Leader, EY

“If you own a Tesla in Manhattan right now, you have to drive to Brooklyn to charge it. The experience over there right now is compromised.” 

“EY has supported the EV SUMMIT pretty much since its inception. We’ve done a lot of work over the last 5, 6 years supporting Ade and the team, but we’ve got some exciting news, that we are now bringing the EV SUMMIT to the US.”

So, throughout Day Two we heard calls for action. The seriousness of our time limits has been brought to the forefront of the conversation. How do we hit our deadlines? With affordable, accessible, and equitable EV ownership. 

What’s more, the EV SUMMIT is hitting the next level as the event expands overseas for the first time. With the rapidly changing North American EV landscape, the birth and rapid adoption of NACS, and the urgent need for vast swathes of charging infrastructure, the US EV SUMMIT is going to be an event to remember.

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