Rapid electric vehicle charging specialist Engenie, has appointed former global product director at McDonald’s, James Wehner, as its new chief technology officer (CTO), to make EV charging as easy as possible.

During his five years at McDonald’s, Wehner was responsible for designing and introducing McDonald’s’ revolutionary digital self-service kiosks, dubbed the ’experience of the future’. James oversaw the rollout of these kiosks in over 70 countries across the globe.

Bringing his experience and expertise to the EV charging industry, his remit at Engenie will focus on making EV charging as simple and seamless as possible for drivers. He will be responsible for enhancing customer experience, developing and implementing new technology, systems and software that will offer drivers more personalisation and choice when charging their EV.

Wehner said: “For mass adoption of EVs to become a reality, drivers must be at the heart of the transition and by ensuring a key part of their experience – charging – is smooth and seamless, Engenie promises to accelerate that transition.

“The fundamentals of exceptional customer experience are the same in any sector – it’s about putting the customer in control. After close to half a decade establishing one of the world’s most recognisable customer services tools, I’m excited to apply my skills to a sector where customer experience isn’t just good for business, but instrumental in saving the planet too.”

During his time at McDonald’s optimising the existing self-serve kiosk software, Wehner was simultaneously rebuilding this technology from the ground up and re-inventing self-service experience for McDonald’s customers. He is looking to apply his experience at McDonald’s to the EV charging industry and have a similarly transformative impact with Engenie.

Ian Johnston, CEO of Engenie, commented: “We’ve seen advances in consumer experience transform industry after industry – from McDonald’s’ self-service kiosks transforming retail to the fintech banking revolution led by the likes of Monzo and Starling Bank. Consumer experience has always been at the heart of everything Engenie does and by bringing James on board, we hope to bring that same revolution to EV drivers across the UK."

He said that as a base level for best practice, all of Engenie’s chargers are fully open and accessible, offering normal contactless payment as standard.

"James’ appointment is a significant new development in Engenie’s plans to further enhance the entire EV charging experience and facilitate mass EV growth in the UK, following substantial investment from Cube in July 2019."

He added “Poor user experience is a major barrier to widespread EV adoption. By revolutionising the way we charge on the go, EV charging networks will play an essential role in accelerating a clean transport future. James has already brought a fresh approach to improving the customer experience of EV charging and has a lot of exciting new ideas in the pipeline.”