INTERVIEW with Neil Isaacson, CEO, Liberty Charge
What role have you played in Liberty Charge’s journey?
I joined Liberty Global 18 months before Liberty Charge was formed, and helped develop the strategy, business plan and find the investors that would enable the creation of a joint venture. When the business launched, I became CEO of the business, and have been privileged to lead a growing group of incredibly talented people to help local authorities accelerate their EV charging strategies.
What is your major focus in the market today?
We are focussed on trying to solve the problem that residents have when they can’t charge at home. We believe they need a reliable, accessible and most importantly convenient EV charging network, as close to their homes as possible.
What problems does this help solve?
This helps accelerate the reduction of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, benefitting all of us and decreasing the risks of serious air quality related illnesses.
Your successes as they happened.
We’ve deployed on-street chargers in over 6 local authorities and conversations are well along the process with many others across the UK, who see the benefit of this approach. Our existing customers include Hammersmith and Fulham, Waltham Forest, Croydon and Wandsworth and Northamptonshire to name a few.
What benefits of certain arrangements from your past projects would you highlight?
That we provide a privately funded solution, which means that scarce Government funding should be directed to those areas where a commercial return isn’t possible within the next 10 years. We also have a dedicated planning team, who know the ins and outs of what local authority teams have to deal with, so we can help them accelerate their projects, including detailed street map plans for EV charging infrastructure installation.
What are the biggest issues for electric vehicle charging in the UK today?
A lack of sufficient dedicated resources within local authorities to help drive the projects, a lack of consistent Government policy and support around strategy and focus on where to deploy what charging technology in the public realm, the difference in VAT payable for those who can charge at home vs those who can’t – creating an inequality from day one.
What else should we be discussing at the EV Charging Infrastructure AC, DC, V1G, V2G Focus Day and Ambassadors’ Day #EVCI2022 this month?
How as an industry we can fix the above issues.
Can industry collaboration help unlock these opportunities?
Absolutely, as long as we are all on the same page, but we need to work more closely together to influence government policy.
How can we help electric vehicle infrastructure achieve its potential in the next 5 years?
By deploying a blended network throughout the UK, leaving the private sector to install where it is commercially viable to do so, and focussing taxpayers’ money on accelerating infrastructure roll out in areas where there is not a commercial case to install.
What questions should we ask in your session about charging infrastructure?
How can government money be deployed more efficiently? Are local authorities equipped to manage the process today? How can national government reduce EV ownership inequality (VAT and scrappage schemes)?
At Liberty Charge we want to live in a clean, green world, where transport is sustainable and accessible to everyone. We will support this vision by providing the UK’s most reliable and widely accessible public EV charging network.
Neil Isaacson, CEO is speaking on 14 June at EVCI2022 Focus Day in:
8.15 – 9.40, Public and Residential EV charging panel
12.30 – 13.15, Robust public charging networks to service consumers and fleets Partner panel
Matt Croucher, EV Services Director will be hosting roundtable discussions with participants on 15 June, Ambassadors’ Day:
15.05-15.50 and 15.50-16.35 Overcoming barriers to EV Charging for those without off-street parking.
Our discussions will recap on the need for local EV charging, and some of the challenges around meeting this demand, before swiftly moving on to talk about solutions, both in terms of differing charging formats and technologies, and the delivery and funding models available.
The team from Liberty Charge will be exhibiting on 14 and 15 June.