Smarter Impact

Tim Washington - JET Charge and Chargefox - the energy and EV renaissance

July 22, 2020 Tim Washington Season 1 Episode 64
Smarter Impact
Tim Washington - JET Charge and Chargefox - the energy and EV renaissance
Chapters
Smarter Impact
Tim Washington - JET Charge and Chargefox - the energy and EV renaissance
Jul 22, 2020 Season 1 Episode 64
Tim Washington

Join Tim Washington and I as we discuss transforming our cars into the cheapest way to store and distribute electricity, the astonishing logistics of petrol, crafting an ecosystem for business confidence in energy startups, letting Tesla work out of his garage, standards, land grabs and business infrastructure philosophy, energy network resilience, automotive timeframes, the challenges of making the case for bringing leading technology to Australia generally, working your guts to create change.

Discover more via http://jetcharge.com.au and https://www.chargefox.com, and you can find Tim on LinkedIn via https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-washington-8a51693a/ as well as his role as Chair of the https://electricvehiclecouncil.com.au/

If you enjoyed this content, please give it a like, leave a comment, subscribe for more and share the video - it really means a lot to see your support coming in :)

Smarter Impact is hosted by http://linkedin.com/in/philipbateman and produced by http://bravocharlie.global

Bravo Charlie specialise in targeted video communication for impact investors and their portfolios, using marketing, business development, investing and production skills to engage stakeholders and amplify returns.

At the apex of social change, we exist as the possibility of world leaders in business, politics and society being engaging, powerful communicators, and work to accelerate the transition of our world into a more environmentally aware, sustainable and loving place.

Our best work is done with companies at a tipping point, with strong offerings, ready to launch into the next stage of their greatness.  The outcomes of our effort are a more harmonious society, empowering people with the resources and capabilities to lead good lives.

We specialise in:

- Documenting your Impact Measurement and Management
- Making complex businesses and technologies simple to understand
- Coaching senior executives to deliver at their best on camera
- Creating compelling pitches and content, to support Seed/series funding and IPOs
- Crafting digital marketing systems, engagement and growth strategies
- Capturing the passion of your team and clients

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/SmarterImpact)

Show Notes Transcript

Join Tim Washington and I as we discuss transforming our cars into the cheapest way to store and distribute electricity, the astonishing logistics of petrol, crafting an ecosystem for business confidence in energy startups, letting Tesla work out of his garage, standards, land grabs and business infrastructure philosophy, energy network resilience, automotive timeframes, the challenges of making the case for bringing leading technology to Australia generally, working your guts to create change.

Discover more via http://jetcharge.com.au and https://www.chargefox.com, and you can find Tim on LinkedIn via https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-washington-8a51693a/ as well as his role as Chair of the https://electricvehiclecouncil.com.au/

If you enjoyed this content, please give it a like, leave a comment, subscribe for more and share the video - it really means a lot to see your support coming in :)

Smarter Impact is hosted by http://linkedin.com/in/philipbateman and produced by http://bravocharlie.global

Bravo Charlie specialise in targeted video communication for impact investors and their portfolios, using marketing, business development, investing and production skills to engage stakeholders and amplify returns.

At the apex of social change, we exist as the possibility of world leaders in business, politics and society being engaging, powerful communicators, and work to accelerate the transition of our world into a more environmentally aware, sustainable and loving place.

Our best work is done with companies at a tipping point, with strong offerings, ready to launch into the next stage of their greatness.  The outcomes of our effort are a more harmonious society, empowering people with the resources and capabilities to lead good lives.

We specialise in:

- Documenting your Impact Measurement and Management
- Making complex businesses and technologies simple to understand
- Coaching senior executives to deliver at their best on camera
- Creating compelling pitches and content, to support Seed/series funding and IPOs
- Crafting digital marketing systems, engagement and growth strategies
- Capturing the passion of your team and clients

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/SmarterImpact)

- Greetings friends. Philip Bateman, Bravo Charlie here, presenting Smarter Impact with Tim Washington, who is the founder of JET Charge, co-founder of Chargefox, a lawyer, initially, in the grand scheme of things, and was in the apparel business for a while, and saw the call for EVs and the need for it, back in I think 2013. So the call wasn't that predominant, not a lot of people knew about it.

- Sure.

- What got you into this?

- I was in the apparel business as part of a family business. And as that was kind of winding up, I basically said to myself, "Well, we've done pretty well. What am I going to do now? Am I going to go back to being a lawyer? Am I going to go into another kind of fashion business or what am I going to do?" Really at the end of the day, I had this life philosophy, where if you've got enough money, essentially, to sustain yourself for a year and can afford to lose it all, or not have any income for a year, which is a very small group of people, then you should spend that year doing something that you truly are passionate about. And I guess that's what startups are. But there's a reason why a lot of startups tend to be people who've come out of uni or at the earlier stages of their lives. There are lots of mature startups as well, but a lot of them are early on, because you don't have as much responsibility at the time. You know, I've got kids, I've got family and stuff. And so I recognised I was in a really privileged position to do something I wanted to do. So, the story is essentially that when I was deciding on what I wanted to do, I focused on what I found the most interesting. I've always found technology really interesting. That's just because I'm a pretty typical geek coming out of school. I didn't study engineering, I didn't have any of that nous, but I wanted to do that, I wanted to do something with cars, and I think when I combined those two things, it really pointed me in the electric car direction. What sealed it for me was my wife, Ellen, who's also a founder in JET Charge.. She's the E in JET Charge. I'm the T, and Jay who we started with, he's the J. So that's how JET Charge came about. I just thought it was because it happened really quickly.

- No, we actually couldn't think of any other names, so we just got each other's names. But essentially she said, "I'm going to be supporting you for a year. It has to be something that's meaningful. It can't just be a food delivery business with electric cars. It has to be something, you know, that's good." And I'm like, "How about we look at EVs, and in particular, let's look at electric vehicle charging." Because the more I did research into it, and I just thought to myself, "All right, Tesla's getting off the ground now with the Model S. They had the Roadster for a while, but now they're really getting off the ground." Nissan had their Nissan Leaf and that was about 2010. Mitsubishi had their i-MiEV. And all the articles I could find were about how these vehicles were going to be revolutionary, how they were going to take over the world, how they were going to ultimately be cheaper. But nobody was talking about charging. I thought that was a pretty interesting thing, because if you've ever driven an electric car, it's pretty similar to driving other cars, except it's more fun and it's more comfortable. But the charging, everybody said, "You just charge it from home, right?" And I just said to myself, "It gets glazed over, but it seems like a pretty fundamental change in terms of how we service our fueling needs." So I started looking to how we do charging and all of that. I went to Norway, which even back then was already quite far advanced. They had street side charging infrastructure. And I said to myself, "This is it. I think this is basically where we're going to spend the next year." So, that's how we got into the EV charging space. Then we decided that if we wanted to get some traction Then we decided that if we wanted to get some traction in the EV charging space, we needed essentially to get the biggest name at the time, which was Tesla. And back then in Melbourne, Tesla didn't have a presence. You could pre-order one, but you couldn't do much else. And so I pre-ordered one, because that was the only way I knew how to get in contact with them. I pre-ordered a model S, which I've still got today, and contacted California. I'm pretty persistent. Back then if you were a Tesla customer, they went to a whole lot of length to service you and make sure you were happy. I got put on to what they called their Asset Lite back then, which was essentially the sales team for Australia. The guy who was going to come out, I spoke with him about charging, and what he was going to to do for home installations. And Tesla gave us a go. They said, "Alright, if you want to do it, we can put you on our Recommended Installer Programme." So that was back in 2013, I think. And because I pre-ordered one, I actually had one of the first charging stations installed in my garage. Back then in Melbourne, the Melbourne sales team didn't have a showroom; they didn't have anywhere to do test drives. And they had no where to charge it, most importantly. So I gave them a key to my garage, and they just did test drives and charging out of my driveway for a couple of months, before they moved on to a hotel in the city to do it. Then they found their sales room in Richmond. And that's how it all started. So that's the origin story. I was interested as well, whether it's a universal fitment on these, because I know, essentially.. I've been watching the rollout of EV charging stations, and as far as I'm aware with Teslas, you can drive them from here to Brisbane and back, using the relevant charging links. Though is it a land grab for petrol stations, or is there a universal charging point?

- There's two separate questions. But I'll answer the first one, which is that Australia's got its act together and kind of unified on plug standards, and so we're pretty much there. Even Tesla, they introduced using their own kind of plug and they've changed now to what we call CCS2, which is basically the combined charging system. And it's used on all non-Japanese vehicles. And then there's a Japanese standard called CHAdeMo which is used on Mitsubishi and Nissan. So that's the plug standards. So people don't have to worry about plug standards, it's all pretty much universal these days. The land grab question is a really, really interesting question, actually. And it's quite philosophical. There are two camps. The first is for public charging. People think that they need to be at petrol stations, because that's where petrol is. And there are other companies who go down that road and say, "We're only going to partner with petrol stations. We're going to put them on forecourts because that's what people are used to."

- I believe Castrol's just rolling out the new Ampol brand, with EV charging on site. But my father actually asked me last night, he's like, "Well, there's only car space to get a Mars Bar and fill your car up. So how are you going to start having all these EVs parked at petrol stations?"

- And that is the perfect question, right? And I think where the challenge is for a lot of companies moving into this space, is that for those who haven't been working in this space for a really long time like I have, it does take a few years for your mind to shift. So this Chargefox site, for example; Chargefox is a company that I co-founded. It's run by its own management team, and we're rolling out the first ultra-rapid charging network across Australia. We've kind of got most of it done now. This particular site in Melbourne that we're standing on is not a petrol station, it's a shopping centre.

- Yeah. We're out the back of Chemist Warehouse, on the corner of the Westfield parking lot, with thousands of cars in front of me, to be quite honest.

- And that's the key, which is that with EVs, because you're not standing by your vehicle as you're charging up like you are with petrol, the emphasis is not on how many cars you can get through in the space of an hour. Petrol stations, when they're planning, they're basically saying, "What's a really good place to put it? How many cars can we get through? What's our revenue? What's our turnover? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." What you'll notice with them on some of the biggest service stops, is that they have both their own forecourts, and then they also have another area, which is basically where everyone goes to the restaurants. That's in recognition that if you want to get something to eat, you park over there, you don't park in the forecourt. And so for us it's not so much about how many vehicles you can turn over like a petrol station, it's actually more about how many cars you can get through at once. And so, because you're not sitting there, it's actually about how big your car park is. Even if you look at some of the biggest petrol stations, they're actually not that big. They're actually quite limited in terms of how many customers they can serve at any one time. Whereas this Westfield has thousands of car parks. In a world where we hit 50, 60, 70% penetration, if you base your charging stations purely on forecourts, it's actually quite hard to scale. Whereas if you base yourself in car parks, it's easier to scale. It's not that there is not a place for charging stations on petrol station forecourts; there definitely is, especially from a location and comfort perspective. But if you're thinking longterm about what the future of EV charging is going to be, especially as we move towards autonomous vehicles, they're going to need a lot of space. And so we've gone down that philosophy. We do also have some charging stations in conjunction with petrol stations. But for example, in Barnawartha, which is on the Albury-Wodonga border, there's a petrol station actually opposite where we are, but we dug out a new car park. We built essentially a new car park. And that's in recognition that they're two different things.

- Yeah, you don't have a giant bomb basically dug into the ground, that you have to remediate when you close your petrol station down.

- Yeah. And the other thing is, working on petrol stations is actually quite complicated and technical, because it's a hazardous area. You've literally got a petrol tank underneath.

- I know I've done work as well with wetstock managers, where they basically just map out the fuel transit that's constantly happening, measuring down to the millimetre or the millilitre, everything that goes out through the tanks and through the petrol pumps. That's amazing logistics. Everything's just in time in this country, so it's amazing how that all has to happen. Whereas here we've just got basically very large converter stations in the cages behind us. Would that be the case?

- Yeah, the rectifiers that go from AC to DC electricity, are just in the cabinet behind us. One thing you point out is really important and interesting, which is that when someone fills up with petrol, they think it's easy, right? But what they don't realise is that the amount of effort that has gone into making sure that that petrol gets into your car when you pull that, is actually an incredible operation. And if you think about it, it's actually quite amazing that we've managed to get to that space, because it has to be pulled out of the ground somewhere in the Middle East, and it has to be transported and it has to be refined, and then it has to do all of that. And so when people talk to me about EV charging infrastructure and say, "What are we going to have to do to the grid to allow all this?" It's actually quite laughable in comparison to how complicated getting petrol in the ground is, because we produce all the electricity here. Everything is done in this country. If you think about a world where, for example, we need to have offshore oil reserves to enable our fuel security.

- I was going to say about sovereign risk, and how about 10 years ago, Australia basically gave up on having a national supply stock. So if we do have a border embargo, for instance, imagine COVID gets to the point where people can't bring us fuel. We don't have the supplies, as far as I'm aware.

- I think we've got about two weeks. Not everything's going to change overnight, but what's been really encouraging for me doing the work that I do, is that more and more people are realising that the balance needs to start shifting, and that the electrification of transport is more than just about the environment. And it's more than just about economics, even. It is about resilience as a country. And a lot of the things that we talk about post-COVID, is about how resilient is Australia's manufacturing, food supply sectors, fuel supply sectors? And the electrification of transport is a vital part of that. And so that's been really encouraging to see.

- In, for instance, bushfire situations, when you can't get petrol out to your vehicle fleet, so all the fleet stops and everybody's trapped. If you have solar panels, you can charge your fleet; you can move around.

- Yeah, absolutely. And we have a high penetration of solar here in Australia. People actually have the ability to provide their own transport fuel, which is quite a radical kind of system. There are a couple of things. The first thing is people always say to me that those in rural areas will be the last to take up electric cars. And what I say to them is that's actually not the case. One, because they've had to be incredibly technologically adept, dealing with the farming practises that they do today. But two is that they're not driving 1000 km a day. They're the first ones to have big solar systems, big battery systems. They can't wait till they can have their second or third car being electric, because they're completely self sufficient. That's the first thing. The second thing is in disaster areas. If you look at Japan, one of the things they do, is when there's an earthquake or there's disasters, they've actually got fleets of electric cars, Nissan Leafs, that not only transport the emergency people to site, but then they actually plug all of those Nissan Leafs in and use them as battery to supply the emergency supplies sites. So they can actually transport their power there. Because setting up portable solar and battery storage still takes a bit of time. But if you've got a fleet of 20 cars, and they can provide enough power for days, then that's a really efficient way of doing it. So that's what they do. It's not fantasy, it's stuff that's already happening, and we just need to get there a little bit quicker.

- That really brings me to the idea of the second electricity grid. Because from my perspective, remote towns are going to be the first ones to put their own peer-to-peer power sharing grids in, put battery storage in, put large solar, because they don't actually need to deal with anybody. They don't need to deal with 2 million people down the road. They've just got 2000 people, they're happy, they're doing their thing. And the idea of the second electricity grid, could you talk to that please?

- The only word I've been able to think about this so far is the "shadow grid", but it sounds really ominous, and so my wife said to me, "Don't use that." If you think about how our electricity is transported around, it is a lot of poles and wires; that's literally how we've had to do it. But electric cars, because they're giant batteries, they can also transport electricity around. And the best way to think about this, about the impact that that's going to have is just to think about normal batteries. And so if you've ever used a device that has a battery in it, this mobile phone for example, laptops, et cetera, they're all based on batteries. laptops, et cetera, they're all based on batteries. If we lived in a world where batteries did not exist and you had to have fixed electricity to all of your appliances, we simply would not be able to live in the society we live in today. So the impact that the electric car is going to have is going to be just as great, except that the electricity that it's providing is to more things that we traditionally thought needed to have a fixed electricity connection. So they include houses, they include buildings, they include offices. When I talk about the second electricity grid, it's essentially a way to supplement the poles and wires, but using vehicles. And what's really interesting about that is that vehicles in and of themselves, one of the biggest criticisms that they've had is that they are an inefficient asset, because they are parked 90% of the time. They're parked there, they don't do anything, they cost you money, rego. That's why a lot of people are saying, "I'm not going to get a driver's licence, because I don't need it. I'll just grab an Uber or whatever, because it's so inefficient, it costs money." And so what we're saying is, "But what if it's plugged in every time it's still? What if it's doing something every time that it's parked there?" And the thing that it's doing is that it's supplying the cheapest form of electricity and the greenest form of electricity you can get. What if it's the cheapest way to store and distribute electricity? If that's the case, then does that car become the most valuable asset that you have?

- Are you suggesting that we could get closer and closer to our emissions reduction targets by using the growing asset of EVs to basically just move more and more and more and more solar into the grid?

- Yeah, that's exactly right. Because we've got a couple of problems right now. The first is that with the increased amount of renewables in our grid, the distribution networks are needing to deal with various technical issues that are all solvable, but they do have to deal with those issues. And what EVs allow us to do is at a micro scale, so basically at a local scale, houses, buildings, we're able to switch the charging of our vehicles from off-peak, which is like, 1:00AM, to actually during the middle of the day when solar is booming. And so rather than export that solar, we can actually store it in cars. And the more EVs we have, the more we can store. If you converted Australia's entire car fleet to electric tomorrow, and you used an average electricity pack size, you'd have enough storage for two Snowy Hydro schemes. The difference being that the government hasn't had to pay for those two Snowy Hydro schemes, that it's in everybody else's hands. And so we can store more solar, which basically means people can put more solar on their roofs. They don't have to worry as much about export limits, and the distribution networks don't have to worry about things like voltage controls as much. So that's the first thing it solves. The second thing it solves is that at a grid level, with large renewables projects, we have this problem where there's too much renewables during the day, and there's nothing to soak it up. Because the peaks tend to happen, when solar is not at its strongest. With electric cars, with smart charging, what we're able to do is we're able to time it with that production. And if we're able to link the timing of charging of these vehicles, with these solar farms, with these wind farms, we can actually help them build bigger solar farms, help them build bigger wind farms, and achieve greater economic returns for them, but at the same time, deliver extremely cheap electricity, even for those who can't get a solar system on their own house. It also allows us to do things like upscale commercial-size solar. So for example, on this shopping centre, they may size a certain amount of system to service a certain warehouse. What we're able to do is we're able to say, "Why don't you oversize that, give it as a benefit to your employees?" So they can charge up during the day from solar they can then take that electricity home and power their house with it. They may be renting, they may find it really hard to get solar, they may live in a flat or whatever, but they're actually able to take solar from your property, from the commercial property, home. There is no difference. I mean, there are some loss factors, sure. But there's no real difference. The environment doesn't really care where you're using all of this. So, we actually think electric cars, just like any form of battery storage will increase the uptake of renewables and increase the viability of renewables. But the key thing is the co-benefit that exists with electric cars. One, the battery packs are bigger, but two, you get to drive it. You're not going to find a better asset than that.

- So the modern office perk then is essentially that you go to work, your employer powers up your mobile battery, you go home and then you plug in and then you don't have to pay electricity at home because you got it off your roof at work.

- That is absolutely right. And what's really interesting..

- It's a pretty good package.

- I think it's a great package. And the thing is, if you size your solar properly, if you get the right companies to do it, then it doesn't actually have to cost the employer much at all. This is something that we do at our work. What's really interesting is that people are happy to offer free charging to people's vehicles. But as soon as you start telling them that they're going to use that to return the power back to their house, the employers start going, "Oh, whoa, whoa, whoa, hang on. We're not paying for our employees' home usage." To which my response is always, "Well, what do you care if they're just using it for fuel or if they're using it for their home? It doesn't really matter to you, does it? They could just live really far away and drive a lot. It doesn't really matter to you." But there is this psychological barrier that has been ingrained in us that we need to break, to say, "No, this is part of working somewhere; this is part of staff retention." One of the biggest costs that we have at the moment are our fueling costs and our home electricity costs. If we can combine those two and take them completely away, just because you work somewhere, those workplaces are going to benefit from better employees, happier ones. We think it can be a real perk. We think it is the way of the future. And that's exactly what's going to happen.

- There's a few things in my mind. One being that I took off the front of one of your websites, 52% of all new car purchases are government or fleet. And I was wondering, what's stopping basically, people handing out electric cars? And I guess this ties into my question, of if you were the Minister for Transport and Energy, what would you do from a policy setting to give us a five year horizon to get this all, not just.. because it's great that there are six car spaces here and then there are thousands in front of me. What do we do within five years? Because people are talking about sustainable development goals by 2030 and things, and it's halfway through 2020. How do we make a meaningful go at this, and what's stopping us?

- There's a lot of things to unpack there. The first is a recognition that most of charging happens privately, so in homes or in buildings. These charging stations that you see out here are actually only to service around five to 10% of all charging. So when people think about what policy goals need to be put in place, we're not talking about rolling out thousands of thousands of charging stations by the government. Like that's not going to happen. It doesn't need to happen in places like this. Interstate routes and rural areas, of course. And there are existing government programmes and government programmes in the pipelines that will help make that happen.

- If you'll excuse me interjecting, because to me what just happened there, is I realised that all these shopping centres and things we're standing in front of are all privately owned.

- Yes, they are privately owned. A lot of these shopping centres, I predict within the next five years, will start seeing positive business cases from installing charging infrastructure themselves. So I don't think assistance is really needed there. What you really need to do is you need to get people into electric cars. You need to get bums on seats. Because at the end of the day, as much as we all think we know the future, and we all can appreciate the benefits, until you sit in one, you drive one, you understand it, your mind's just not switched to it. There are a few things that we can do. The first is we can close the gap between petrol cars and electric cars, in terms of price. There's a few reasons you want to do that. The first is that even though electric cars will eventually become cheaper than petrol cars, allocated supply is a big issue. So the way that vehicle manufacturers work, and JET Charge work with most of them in the market, is that the head office, when they're allocating vehicles, they go, "Where do we need to send the vehicles first because of government regulation?" So the first one that they look at is that. And they go: Europe, because of really strict CO2 emissions standards, China, because of really strict CO2 emissions standards and California. Three biggest car markets in the world, have extremely strict emission standards that came into force last year and this year, they have to send it there first. Then they go, "Where can we sell these cars really easy?" And so they're places in, like, Norway, where they have really good subsidies for electric cars.

- We're not on this list, are we?

- I mean, we're just not on that list.

- And all the people that are like, "Why aren't they bringing it out? Why aren't they bringing it out?" The reality is, and working with these people in these companies who all actually have a passion for EVs, they just struggle to get them here, because they actually have to put.. it sounds amazing, but they actually have to put a business case together, they have to present it to their head office, to say, "We want this many cars. We think there's demand." Then head office goes, "What are your government programmes? What are your subsidy programmes? How are you going to sell this many? Prove you can. And where's your charging infrastructure? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." It's just like going and pitching to any other company. And so we have to make it easier for these vehicle manufacturers to do it. And the best way we can do that is one, to putting CO2 emissions standards for vehicles. Two is to close the gap in terms of pricing, so, offering a subsidy. And there are various government initiatives at a state level that are aimed to doing that right now. One of them is considering, if you want to electrify your fleet, how about we cover the difference between the equivalent petrol car and an electric car? That's a great programme, because people aren't going out and just all buying really expensive electric cars, they're actually looking at this strategy and going, "What's fit for purpose? How are we going to get there? Blah, blah, blah, blah." So those two policy goals are really, really important. Once you've decided, "We can put people in cars," then you need to go, "What charging infrastructure on top of the private ones can we do?" So they're the public ones. You have to make sure that rural areas that don't have immediate business cases for EV charging are not left out. How do we facilitate private charging? So for example, if you live in an apartment, your owners corporation should not be allowed to say, "No, we don't want you to have a cheaper form of transport. We're going to block this." They should be forced, essentially, to allow you to instal it, if you can. Which is what happens in other states, in other countries. So those are a few of the things that you need to look at.

- I was curious, I've just seen Porsche and Audi have come out and announced partnerships with you? Is that across the board? Is everybody basically standing up? Do you find from the manufacturers, they're genuinely behind this? Is it an exciting PR thing based on the availability of car units we can get in this country? Or is it simply the early stages and everybody's excited and wants to lean in?

- I'm actually kind of happy you asked that question because I think there's a real perception out there that vehicle manufacturers are doing this just for window dressing. And I think part of that comes at looking at how far someone like Tesla does it, because they've obviously born and bred electric, versus some of the more incumbent manufacturers, about how slow they're going. The reality is that all of these companies that we deal with have a focus on electrification now. They may not have had it six years ago, but they do have it now. But things in the auto world don't move as fast as many would like them to. They're like, "Oh, it's not going to come out till 2021!"

- I know they've got to keep parts on the shelf for 15 years just to sell a car. So the logistics to have a warehouse full of tiny little rubber grommets, for some part of an internal combustion engine with 3000 moving parts, that you have to, by law, keep on the shelf if you're going to sell a car. That kind of supply chain change is just monumental.

- Yeah, absolutely. And it takes time to design a car. It takes time to move literally tens of thousands of executives and management, let alone everybody else in the business, into an electric mindset. It used to take them seven year life cycle to get from prototype, like actual concept design, all the way through to maturity and in market. And so when people say to me, "Oh, they're not going to release it till '21, '22." Well, they actually started thinking about that back in 1995. And so I would say the first thing is patience. A few years time is absolutely nothing really in the auto world. But your question is, are they just getting excited? Are they leaning in? And I'm just like, "They're all genuinely excited, they all genuinely want to see it succeed." And they're partnering with companies like Chargefox and JET Charge because they recognise that the charging aspect of it, is actually part of the car. We haven't really thought about fueling as being part of the vehicle experience, because you go to a petrol station, you fill up, the reality is most people don't care what petrol station brand it is. It's kind of like, look at your app, where's the cheapest petrol, go get it. But charging is different. A lot of EV drivers plug in one once every day or once every two, three days. And so it is a personal experience, it's something that you use on a daily basis. When you go out there, you're going to have heaps of choice as to where you go. And so what you'll start finding is that charging starts getting aligned with your favourite shopping areas, or they get aligned with your council, or they get aligned... So there's a lot more scope for that vehicle experience. These brands are partnering with Chargefox because we've got a network, they need to essentially have a network so that people can be confident about driving around, and JET Charge because we've got the experience and expertise around charging. I always say to the vehicle manufacturers, "We're not actually an electrical product, we're an automotive product, an automotive service. It's just that for the first time, the actual electricity part of it now forms part of your service offering." That's why they're partnering with us. They're all genuine. None of it's really window dressing. I can say that because I work with the people on the ground who make this happen. I know that a lot of them, when they see comments on videos like this and stuff like that, go, "They're just window dressing or they're not serious." They go, "I worked my guts out, 12 hours a day, trying to make this happen, and then people think... you know" But it's not true. So people who work within these businesses are trying extremely hard to make sure that our consumers get what we want. But if we don't have the support that we need from a government and policy level to make it easier for these guys, then we won't see the numbers. And we will start getting vehicles that are not suited for the Australian market, even more so than we do today. I don't want to see that happen.

- I'm excited about buying an electric car though, from where I'm looking at, to me, realistically, with what I can afford, a secondhand car, that's got 80,000 km on it, is way more in my price range for the kind of quality I'm looking for, compared to something new off the shelf, for $40,000 or $50,000 or $60,000. For people in my situation regarding EVs, what would you say to them?

- What's really great about looking at buying a secondhand electric car these days, is that a lot of the newer vehicles that were introduced two years ago, are now coming off lease. This is the whole point that a lot of government fleets want to get to, is that they want to get electric cars that are a bit more expensive, that your average Joe can't afford, so that they can enter into the secondhand market. A lot of those are coming off lease now. Not with 80,000 km; with 30,000 km or 40,000 km. And so you're going to be able to buy really affordable, as this massive train rolls past us right now, but you're going to be able to buy extremely affordable electric cars. They're not going to be $2,000, but they are going to be at a price range where a lot of people can afford it. You can buy a Hyundai IONIQ right now for just over 40, new. So when they become secondhand, they're going to be, obviously, much cheaper. I would also say to people that as a business, we don't count the days between petrol and electric price parity. We don't go, "Oh, it's not price parity yet. It's not price parity yet." Because we know that it's going to be cheaper. We think it's going to happen within five years. Five years to wait for that period of time is not that long, But if you want to pick one up today, secondhand vehicles are pretty cheap already.

- For the people out there that want to see a green revolution, for want of a better term, or basically just the advancement of considered technology, where we all benefit. I think that's better than saying a revolution. What can they do at a personal level, at a council level? Should I be ringing my local municipality and saying, "Hey guys, I want to see more electric cars on the street because I can't hear them. And I live near a road at the moment and I'm constantly hearing all these cars revving their guts out driving down the road. And I just thought, ah, ancillary benefit of electric, I wouldn't hear them doing this."

- Correct. What can they do? Well, there's lots of things that you can do. But I think the first thing is basically just to raise some awareness among your friends. I think writing to your local MP is always good, making sure that it's on their radar. Being part of community groups, that's all good. But there's a few things that we need to tackle. The first is that it's very rare for a technology take-up to occur despite economic hindrance. So therefore, what we need to get people to be aware of is that electric cars will be the cheaper form of transport. And then there is an alignment of economics and environment like there is with solar. Solar is kind of going gangbusters, not because everybody who installed solar is a greeny environmentalist. It's because it's cheaper. Same thing will happen with electric cars, but we need to make sure that people are aware of that. But the most important thing is that because we as humans are fairly visual creatures, we don't think something is happening until we see it. And we need to make people aware that electric vehicles are already here, they're not the future, they already exist and we could benefit from seeing more of them. If you're interested in electric cars, then what I would say is watch more videos like this, go on the internet, educate yourself, go to some of these showrooms, test drive them, and then tell all your friends about it. Because the early adopters, and we're already moving past the early adopter phase, for electric cars, but early adopters are evangelicals, and they are worth 10 people, because they tell all their friends about it. That's what you can do. You can educate yourself and then you can talk to people about it. I've been doing that for the past seven years. That's pretty much my job. The level of awareness and education and knowledge that is now in the market is incredibly encouraging to see. However, there is no guarantee that when you walk into a meeting room and you're trying to convince people to instal charging infrastructure, that they know the difference between an electric and a hybrid vehicle, for example. Or people who basically think that it's either electric or hydrogen. There are all these things that are myths out there, that we all need to bust. And so that's what they can do.

- If there's one thing you wanted people to know out there about JET Charge and Chargefox, what would you tell them?

- I'd say that we need more companies like us. What I've been really trying to promote as part of my role at the EV council, is to ensure that Australia has an environment in which businesses like ours can be confident to start and be confident to grow. And that's, sure that's around policy, but more so there's a lot of things that go into creating an ecosystem of confidence when it comes to this kind of stuff. We are facing a once in several generations switching fuel. That has actually a bigger effect I think on infrastructure and electrical infrastructure, and fueling infrastructure rather than vehicles. I think it's a bigger shift in terms of how we think about our consumption. And yet there are not that many companies and there are not that many entrepreneurs coming out of uni that want to do this. If you look at the top 20 most funded startups last year, only one of them was in the green energy space, and none of them were in the EV space. And it basically means that there are more people out there willing to do a mattress startup than there are looking at tackling our energy future. And I think a lot of that has to do with our energy uncertainty. I think a lot of that has to do with a lack of policy certainty when it comes to EVs. So my message out there is that if you're thinking about what you want to do next, if you're thinking about starting your own business or having a go at something, make it something in the renewable space, make it something in the energy space. I think energy is going to be the most exciting sector to be in in the next hundred years. And it's going to fundamentally change how we think about how we live our lives. So I really encourage people to do that. And I think we as a country, really should be confident in leading something, like let's be really good at something, and let's lead the world in that. And it doesn't have to be things like vehicle production. People get very excited about making cars in Australia, and as do I. But it could be something like, how do we integrate 80% of electric vehicle penetration into our electricity grid? Why are we not the best at integrating solar and batteries and EV charging? How do we enable whole countries to go 100% electric? Why aren't we the knowledge centre for that? We should be. And that's what I'm really passionate about. And it comes from basically like a, Australia as leader kind of perspective, rather than purely as an environmental thing. I want us to be confident in something. I want us to be aspirational in something. To the next generation of startups out there who are thinking about what they want to do, give this a crack. I'm probably inviting more competition, but that's okay. Because competition breeds market and at the moment there is no market. So let's make that market happen.

- In closing, I'm aware Australians are amazing at building things, and we keep our heads down and we don't talk about it. And what I'm really getting from you is this national ability to get together and break through that stoicism of celebrating each other and go, "All right, let's be known for something." Because we are building the biggest batteries, the biggest solar fields. We are powering Singapore under the sea. We're doing all these really cool things in little private silos. When we've been talking about, I was talking with Andy about solar, talking to yourself about EV charging, as an insightful research entrepreneur, for want of a better term, what do you see in the margins? What new services are going to pop up around this future we're talking about, when we do have mobile battery, the second energy grid, what are the things that are going to pop out of that, that people could really be leaders in?

- The thing I can tell you, what JET Charge, for example, is focusing on, is this idea of continuous electricity service through vehicle to grid. Like, how do we help our electricity partners, service something at one location, and then literally have that power moved to another location, and then offer a similar service at the other location as well? What needs to happen? What needs to be done to make that happen? So that's what we're focusing on. And my view is basically, anything to do with the interaction of different things on the electricity grid, is going to be a key part of how we have a more renewable and cheaper grid. So how do we make one thing, talk to another thing at grid level? So there's a lot of people who want to own the smart home space, because for example, they think they're the next Apple, or they think they're the next Google. So they want to control everything in your home and optimise everything, which is fine. But there's a lot of competition in that space globally. There aren't as many people tackling the really hard grid level questions. How do we make that pole over there talk to this transformer over here? How do we make these really huge EV charging stations talk to basically the wholesale market and all of that stuff. Tackle the really big issues. Think about more than just the consumer side, and think more about the infrastructure side, is what I would encourage people to do.

- Public service announcement. We've just had a van pull up in a space that says electric vehicle charging only.

- This is part of the education that I'm talking about, in the sense that people need to understand that these bays are reserved, that they're only supposed to be for cars that are charging. And if we weren't filming here today, I would say it to me, because I'm not charging at the moment, I would say basically I shouldn't be parking there. It's part of a broader public education campaign. We had to go through the same thing with pram parking, for example. And we had to go through the same thing for disabled parking. And people now, when you see someone parking in disabled bay, and they're clearly not disabled and they don't have the sticker, there are various words that come into your head to describe that person.

- People are full of rage.

- People are full of rage as they should be. EV charging is not the same as disabled parking by any stretch of the imagination, but it's all about education.

- I, for the record, don't advocate you having to be full of rage. When you see something you're upset about, breathe through it, come together as a community, and we can have discussions that empower us all. My electricity retailer changed the metre on the front of my house. And they did it everywhere. And a few people made remarks about it, but it just generally happened. What's it going to take for every house to get a power coupling inverter, so you can plug an electric car in and you can make this reality of charging homes from vehicles a thing?

- The interesting thing is from the latter part of this year, you're already going to be able to do it with no additional changes. There will be products on the market that will allow you to instal it, just like any other charging system. And then we have to fill out some paperwork for the distribution network, but you'll just plug your car in and it will just work out of the box. And you will all of a sudden power your house with your car. Nothing else needs to change. You don't have to change your metres, you don't have to change any on-street infrastructure. It's almost the same as installing stationary storage, except the stationary storage is your car, so it's movable storage. And you have a special charging station on the wall.

- So, I guess my question is, what would it take to roll that unit out to every home? Is it a purchased item that electric vehicle owners are going to have?

- Right now, it is a purchased item. I think to make that happen, the first thing that needs to happen is everything needs to come down in price. The cars needs to come down in price, the chargers need to come down in price, and that will happen. The second thing is that vehicle manufacturers need to make it standard. Right now it's Nissan who do it. Mitsubishi will probably be next, they already have the capability, but I think they're just working on some internal stuff to make it happen. But the other manufacturers, I think by about 2025 is the consensus, is that it will become standard. And that's actually really important because it basically means that when you walk into a showroom and you know nothing about electricity, you're just like, "I just want to buy a car." 2025 is going to be the time at which electric cars will be cheaper than petrol cars. So you will buy that Volkswagen ID.3, for example, instead of the Volkswagen Golf, because it's cheaper; it's cheaper to service, cheaper to buy, cheaper to fuel. You'll take that vehicle home, and even if you don't use it, that vehicle will be capable of returning electricity back into your home. And so then you might read up a little bit more about it, or your friends say, "By the way, did you buy this vehicle-to-home charger that they offered?" You're like, "No, what's that?" They're like, "You can just get it from your dealership and they will just put it in for you, and you can power your house with whatever." And they'll be like "Oh, okay, that's cool." And they'll go do that. They'll buy from a range of vendors or from their dealership and they'll put it on their wall. They'll tie it in with their solar if they have it, or not. And then they will basically set it to power their house whenever. Then what they can do is they go, "Oh wow, okay. I don't actually need to consume any electricity from the grid." If I don't have solar, I might charge it from off-peak power, which is a lot cheaper. If I do have solar on my roof, then I can charge my car during the day. And so what needs to happen? It needs to become standardised, the cars need to be cheaper, and the charging stations need to be cheaper. But if you look at the success of the Tesla Powerwall, for example, which almost has no economic return, or stationary storage in general, it shows that people are willing to give things a try, even if they can't get it to stack up on a spreadsheet. And that'll happen with vehicle to home. But when it does become cheaper, it will go en masse.

- And so the answer to being upset at skyrocketing power prices is to all get together and do something about it.

- Yeah, that's absolutely right. People are upset about skyrocketing electricity prices, even though that's a bit of a furphy, to be honest with you. We don't have time to go through why it's a furphy, but it is. But the second..

- I trust you.

- But the second thing is that we were also very upset about petrol prices, right? The difference with electricity is that you can do something about it. You can't do anything about petrol. You can't go into the Middle East, and tell them to lower their wholesale price for a barrel of oil. But you can do something about your electricity consumption. There are lots of different things that you can do. There's no off-peak petrol, but you can get off peak electricity. That's what's so powerful, what we're doing is we're moving, what is essentially a centralised, concentrated source of power in relation to current fueling needs, petrol and diesel, and we're dis-aggregating that, and we're putting it into the hands of consumers, and saying "You decide how you want to fuel. You decide what you pay for that up to a certain extent." And it's so empowering for people to go, "I can create my own electricity. I can create my own fuel. Everything I can do myself or at my local neighbourhood level or precinct level or at grid level. However far I want to go up." That's why I think it's going to be a fundamental shift in terms of how we think about fueling, and how we think about electricity usage in general, not just cars.

- Thank you for being at the forefront of it.

- Thank you, cheers.