Key points from this afternoon’s EV Summit

Design, Accessibility and Smart Systems panels

By
Ian Osborne
September 2, 2021
Category:
EV Biz

Following a successful morning on day two of the 2021 EV Summit at University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, the afternoon was equally captivating. The event brings together business leaders and key players working on electric vehicles, energy, information technology and charging infrastructure, to explore how to advance towards full battery-electric emobility.

This afternoon the final 3 panels of the EV Summit took place covering design, accessibility and smart systems in emobility. This year the EV Summit is placing the master narrative of decarbonisation at the centre of the event’s discussions.

The first of the afternoon’s panels:

Design (in partnership with ARUP)

  • Isabel Dedring (Panel Keynote) Global Transport Leader, Arup
  • Carl-Magnus Norden Founder, Volta Trucks
  • Matthew Weaver Vice President, Nissan Motor Corporation
  • Adam Barmby Founder, EAV

This panel discussed how to design to deliver sustainable emobility and Isabel Dedring, Arup global transport leader, kicked off by discussing the importance of all systems communicating and events like the EV Summit help this. Communication will help deliver better outcomes across the board and the electric vehicle world should lead the way with this by helping to innovate and refine transport as a whole to make the world better.

Carl-Magnus Norden, Volta Trucks founder, talked about the importance of design to make the cities clean, safe and as liveable as possible. With the Volta Zero truck, they listened to the customer, looked at how to reduce C02, lower noise, increase safety for cyclists and pedestrians, and help with the shortage of drivers by increasing comfort and their work environment in the truck.

He concluded by saying that design is key to eliminating a wide range of problems. By using the latest and proven technology, Volta has been able to bring their truck to market in record time. The reason for this is to be able to make an impact as soon as possible.

Matthew Weaver, Nissan Motor Corporation vice president, went on to talk about the design of electric vehicles and the need to change the perception of the car and how it is used. Within this safety and efficiency are key, while keeping vehicles user-friendly, simple and easy to use.

Adam Barmby, EAV founder, spoke about the challenge of how we move people and around cities. Often people expect the government to make the change but he believes that the design world needs take on this challenge. He said good design is about solving problems and helping to set cities free from the current issues and constraints. The EAV model is about creating solutions to real problems.

The second of the afternoon’s panels:

Accessibility (in partnership with Wood)

  • Naeem Farooqi (Panel Keynote) Director of Sustainable Transportation & Asset Management Solutions, Wood
  • Catherine Marris Head Of Innovation, Motability
  • Luke Gavin Co-Founder, Elmo EV subscriptions
  • Matt Dale EV & eLCV Business Owner, ALD Automotive

This panel discussed the subject of making electric vehicles being accessible to all. Naeem Farooqi, Wood director of sustainable transportation & asset management solutions, led the panel by explaining that all groups in society deserve the right to be able to move around in an EV and in a respectable manner.

User experience needs to be mapped and established to help those with disabilities. Plus, charging needs to be easy to use for all, and location and hardware are equally important. For wheelchair users, for example, height, curbs, grass and charger cord length are all important variables in making charging accessible.

Catherine Marris, Motability head of innovation, added that the need of passengers, drivers and pedestrians with special requirements all need to be catered for within the EV equation. It’s important to do this from the start rather than just retrofit things that are usually compromised. Not only is accessibility key but the whole journey needs to be taken into consideration.

Luke Gavin, Elmo EV subscriptions co-founder, believes that by offering the subscription model, it opens the accessibility of electric vehicles to a wider audience. It avoids the huge initial outlay and makes the whole process of converting to zero emissions driving as easy as possible.

Plus, using this model everything from insurance to servicing and breakdown cover are all within the package. He believes communication and education are really important to help the uptake of driving electric.

Matt Dale, ALD Automotive EV & eLCV business owner, finished off by once again saying that we need to make the transition from combustion vehicles to electric cars as simple as possible. A holistic approach to this will be best covering the whole electric vehicle sphere.

ALD like the try-before-you-buy model and it helps to convert people by experience whether it’s private or fleet use. Plus, through the brand’s leasing model they will be able to release more EVs into the used market to help there.

The third and final panel of the 2021 EV Summit:

Smart Systems (in partnership with GreenFlux)

  • Clive Southwell (Panel Keynote) Director, UK & Ireland at GreenFlux
  • Niall Riddell Founder, Paua
  • David Watson Founder, Ohme
  • Vic Shao Founder & CEO, Amply

The final panel of the day discussed how smart systems are key to delivering transport decarbonisation plans. Clive Southwell, GreenFlux Director for UK & Ireland, kicked off by saying that software and smart systems are key to helping with decarbonisation. These systems allow for better use of energy and ultimately help the end user.

He finished by saying it’s important to make the user experience as easy as possible while offering the best value. These two variables and good customer service will help with EV adoption.

Niall Riddell, Paua founder, went on to say that charging needs to be as easy as going to the petrol pump. He added that smart human, technology and business systems all need to work well individually and together.

Paua wants to make charging as simple as possible with the ‘plug in and charge’ model similar to that experienced by Tesla drivers. To do this we need the technology to provide a better user experience.

David Watson, Ohme founder, talked about how smart systems can make it easier, cheaper and greener for electric vehicle drivers. Plus, electric vehicles can also help with the cost of renewables on the grid.

Vic Shao, Amply founder and CEO, finished off by saying there are huge challenges, especially in the USA, with so many systems and price structures. Amply want to simplify this with smart systems for fleets, whether it’s car, bus or truck fleets, and understand these are usually a huge mixture of models that require an overarching system.

Many of the problems are ultimately solved using software and smart systems. There’s a big need to use the latest technologies but these need to work with existing things that are in place. It’s all about making it as easy as possible.

The EV Summit has Visa as the lead partner. They are joined by other partners including Arup, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, DNV, EY, Go With Flow, Greenflux, Improved Corporate Finance, Shell Recharge, Wood and Zaptech.

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