In 2021, the average global temperature was over 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels according to the World Meteorological Organization – dangerously close to the 1.5°C threshold to avoid ecological collapse, as recommended by the IPCC’s Global Warming of 1.5 ºC report. Reductions in global carbon emissions are needed urgently – with decarbonisation of transport a key sector.
Transport produced 27% of the UK’s total emissions in 2019, according to the Department for Transport, with 91% of this from road traffic. In its latest EV analysis, Transport and Environment found that electric vehicles (EVs) emit around three times less CO2 than combustion vehicles (even without being charged with 100% renewable energy!), making them essential in the journey to decarbonise transport. As Europe transitions to fully renewable energy, the group predicts that figure to become a four-fold decrease in emissions by 2030 (vs. conventional cars).
In just eight years, the UK government’s ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars will come into force – but issues surrounding the usage and uptake of EVs remain, including lack of investment, coverage and accessibility of charging infrastructure, and public perception of EVs. Plus, a 2020 Women in Automotive Industry Study from Deloitte showed that only 13% of workforce of the automotive industry was made up of women. At Greenhouse, as champions of diversity, equity, and inclusion, we want to highlight the women propelling the EV revolution through their work addressing these issues.
We’re aware that our list is not fully representative of marginalised women, so if you belong to underrepresented groups or ethnic minorities and are making moves in the EV sector, we’d love to hear from you.
1. Lauren Pamma, Programme Director, Coalition for the Decarbonisation of Road Transport
The issue she’s focused on: As a rapidly expanding industry, EV development and infrastructure requires much investment. Pamma is the Programme Director for the Coalition for the Decarbonisation of Transport (part of the Green Finance Institute) which focuses on unlocking financial barriers to road traffic decarbonisation. Through reports, such as its most recent, Unlocking Public and Private Capital for the UK Battery Sector, it aims to bring attention to the urgent need for investment in transport decarbonisation and solutions to reach their goals. One of its key goals is to channel investment into the development of EV batteries.It recommends solutions such as a Battery Investment Facility, where private and public finance is brought together to de-risk investments.
How she got here: Lauren is a qualified accountant and spent over five years at Lloyds banking group before taking up her role as Program Director at the CDRT. Before this, she studied Zoology at the University of Liverpool.
“The global EV market is racing to scale up the battery supply chain. This demand means new opportunities for investment in the UK, but only if the barriers to realising these opportunities are removed. Cross-sector collaboration has been critical to identifying the solutions that will de-risk investment and unlock the capital required to build the battery supply chain that will secure the future of the UK’s automotive industry.”
2. Melanie Shufflebotham, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, Zap-Map
The issue she’s focused on: Many EV drivers experience both range anxiety and charging anxiety – this problem often stems from arriving at pumps to find them out of order, being used, or simply not there. Melanie co-founded and is the COO of Zap-Map, which offers a solution to charging anxiety. Zap-Map covers over 30,000 EV chargers in the UK, with 70% of them showing live availability status, making it much more likely to find a working charger. More chargers are regularly being added to its network, meaning Zap-Map is fast becoming the go-to way to find and pay for charging… for many, it already is.
How she got here: Melanie founded Zap-Map over 12 years ago, before which she worked in Strategic Partnerships for T-Mobile. She has a background in business development and studied Economics at the University of Cambridge.
“As the number of pure-electric cars on the road approaches half a million, a robust charging network is critical. Over the past few years there has been huge investment in highpowered chargers and it’s great to see many cities across the UK having a strong provision. There are of course a range of different needs when it comes to charging an EV, but continued investment in high-powered chargers for longer journeys is crucial as the number of EVs on the road continues to grow at pace.”
3. Taylor Steele, Senior Regional Manager for Charging Infrastructure at Tesla
The issue she’s focused on: According to Exro’s Barriers to EV Adoption Part II series, public charging infrastructure is one of the key barriers to EV adoption. Patchy coverage, affordability, speed and simplicity are all essential to making the EV experience a smoother one. Taylor oversees the essential expansion of Tesla’s charging network throughout the UK, including the non-Tesla supercharger scheme, which allows other EVs to connect to Tesla chargers.
How she got here: Taylor was a student of Global Studies at Central Washington University before going on to work as a Project Management at OneEnergy Renewables. She joined Tesla five years ago as a Regional Deployment Manager
4. Fiona Howarth, CEO, Octopus Electric Vehicles
The issue she’s focused on: The world of EVs can be confusing: a consumer report from Ford, Go Electric, found that 61% of consumers surveyed said they don’t have the right information to make an informed purchase of an EV. If consumers are to feel comfortable switching to EVs before 2030, it is imperative to make that transition as easy as possible. As the CEO of Octopus EV, Fiona provides a one-stop shop for EV leasing. Octopus EV looks after everything from expert advice, charging, breakdown repairs and tyre replacement, making the experience of leasing a more pleasant and stress-free one.
How she got here: Since 2017, Fiona has worked for Octopus EV, starting as the Director of Smart Projects and progressing to the role of CEO. Before that, she was the Head of Transformation at OVO Energy and studied Engineering, Economics and Management at Oxford.
“Demand for electric cars is soaring – driven by over 65 amazing cars from 28 manufacturers, low running costs and convenient charging at home and work, we’ve seen that drivers are looking for experts that can offer the full EV package to guide them through their journey. With more EV models entering the market every month, and innovative tariffs like Intelligent Octopus making charging your car as easy as your phone, we only expect the transition to accelerate.”
5. Jordan Brompton, Co-founder and CMO of myenergi
The issue she’s focused on: For an EV to be fully sustainable, it must be charged with 100% renewable energy. However, as the National Grid reports in its monthly electricity stats, the UK is supplied by a diverse energy mix of gas, oil, nuclear, and renewables, making sustainable home charging a challenge. myenergi, led by Jordan Brompton, has developed a flagship product called the zappi to solve this issue. The zappi uses home-generated solar or wind power to charge your EV while plugged in at home. It can also be connected to the national grid in case of power failure or before installation of panels or turbines. As co-founder, Jordan oversees the sales and marketing departments, ensuring that myenergi’s innovative technology spreads throughout the UK and globally.
How she got here: Jordan co-founded myenergi in 2016 and has worked as its CMO for the past five years. Prior to this, she owned and managed distribution company Spitfire, which distributed French cycling products in the UK. She studied business and project management