Fast 5 with a Fox – Product Manager | Nick Wodzinski
October 6, 2023
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In this instalment of a (semi) regular section, we sit down for a rapid-fire Q&A with the man behind the Chargefox experience.
What is your role at Chargefox and what excites you most about it?
I’m the lead product manager for the product team – working with our design people, product people and software engineers to solve the problems that will ultimately make EV ownership, and charging in-particular easier, so that more people and companies buy and use EVs.
I’m excited about working in a space that changes so fast – week on week, month on month, year on year the numbers of EV sales are growing, and with that growth we’re seeing more and more people enter the market for charging. I’m excited about getting things right for all EV owners and users, and working towards making Australia the shining and buzzing example of what electriying everything can look like for the rest of the world.
What does the Chargefox user experience look like 2 years from now?
Hopefully it’s a lot more boring. Boring in the sense that charging can become less eventful and less remarkable, as people get used to it and ‘it just works’.
I’d like to see a more integrated experience in the next 2 years. Charging in Australia will be more integrated into the technology that surrounds it. There’s innovation to be had through deeper integrations with payment providers, fleet management companies, energy companies, the grid, the home, manufacturers of charging stations, and of course the vehicle manufacturers themselves.
Maybe you’ll pay for charging with your credit card, maybe you will ‘plug and charge’, maybe your charging just goes onto you retail energy bill or gets automatically added as a tax deduction to your next tax lodgment from the app you use.
I think in Australia we are learning that no one network, car company, or charging station company is going to be big, broad and specialised enough for every customer type. As we all figure out how to work together, there’s potential to realise some great innovation in charging.
Finally, we need to invest in an accessible charging experience. In the next 2 years we will at minimum triple the number of EV’s on the road. If charging is too hard or impossible for those Australians with disabilities or who are temporarily or permanently impaired, then that will be a real shame. I’m loving the rollout of more well designed cable management solutions that have been installed at some sites in 2023.
As a native Canberran (Canberra-ite?) what travel tips do you have for those visiting our nation’s capital?
I believe the term used nowadays is Ken Behren.
Depends what you live for – things I like to do there is; to get up the top of Telecom Tower or Mount Ainsle to take in the view, a run around Lake Burley Griffin during golden hour is always nice, or a trip to the arboretum, or The National Gallery.
…you can do what the locals do and drive to the south coast (and nab a charge on the NRMA network at Braidwood and Batemans Bay on the way!)
What do you do when you’re not solving EV charging challenges?
I love running and talking to other people who work on digital products.
If you could go on an EV road-trip with anyone, anywhere who and where would it be?
When my dad graduated he drove with his mate from Canberra across Australia to Perth (along the southern coast and then back through the guts) in a Datsun without air-conditioning. I’d love to recreate that trip with him in an EV (something with air-conitioning) and I’m planning on getting a Tesla Model Y this year, so would go with that.
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