Our technology sets us apart. To make sure that all our customers have the best possible experience and installation, Paul Pschierer-Barnfather is our new Technical Director. Before joining, we asked him a few questions to learn about his career and passion for EVs and electric motorcycles!
You’ve had quite an interesting journey within the energy sector, could you tell us about it and the link to e-mobility?
My career in the energy industry has led me down a few fascinating paths – from the supply side, then hardware and technology, R&D and testing, investment and eventually EV infrastructure. This final role really merged my career in energy with my passion for cars, motorcycles and engines. Being involved in the installation of charging infrastructure and modelling the grid’s reaction to mass EV adoption highlighted the path forward, the real possibilities and benefits of e-mobility.
What are some of the interesting things you learned during your time as Head of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure?
One interesting area was the impact of EV charging on the energy network. Imagine a motorway built to be so large that not even peak hour traffic slows it down – that is the energy grid. Constructed to function at the highest demand on the busiest day. The concern was that EV charging would dramatically increase this peak. But things like smart and scheduled charging mitigate this risk entirely. It gets better, because with increasing renewables and connectivity, we may reach point where we can align EV charging with maximum renewable output.
As part of my role, I also oversaw the rollout of 700 home chargers to very early EV adopters as part of a feasibility study. None of the installers had seen or worked with these systems before, so we quickly learned some important lessons about the high standards required for such work. I’m glad to say that the industry has moved forward significantly since then!
So, do you have an EV or a hybrid? We hear you are also working on an electric motorcycle?
I have owned a few PHEV/EVs over the years. I started with a Vauxhall Ampera PHEV thinking I would only keep it for a little while. It turned out that I really enjoyed having a car that could do electric-only mileage but I kept it for five years. I then had a Tesla Model 3 and was incredibly impressed with it. Now, I am going to run a Renault Zoe for a few months to try it out.
And, yes, I have always been into motorcycles but in recent years have become more enamoured by the idea of electric motorcycles. In 2019, I attended a 4-day course on converting an existing motorcycle to electric and was staggered by all of the design considerations involved. Now, I am in the process of converting my 1989 Morini Dart fully-faired 350cc road bike into an e-motorcycle with around 120 miles range, watch this space…
What are you most looking forward to about your new role at Zaptec?
This is an incredibly exciting time to be working in the e-mobility sector. With the 2030 ban on new petrol- and diesel-only vehicles just around the corner and the rapidly rising popularity, accessibility and availability of EVs, the market for home charging solutions is set to grow rapidly. This is particularly exciting for me because, as an engineer, I can see how fantastic Zaptec’s technology is. Not only is the hardware well-engineered, but with a touch of Scandinavian design, it is something that you would like to have on the wall of your home or garage – it looks great! I think the UK will really embrace and enjoy using Zaptec chargers and it is nice to be a part of that journey.
About Paul Pschierer-Barnfather
A Mechanical Engineering with Electronic Systems graduate from Brunel University London, Paul started his career at Northern Electric. He moved to VA Tech where he spent almost three years at their R&D facility in Austria. News of a lightning test lab being decommissioned brought him back to the UK, where he successful resurrected the facility before it was acquired by Clothier. After four years there, he worked for over a decade at EA Technology, eventually becoming the Head of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure. Paul joins Zaptec UK as Technical Director.