Engenie, one of the UK’s largest rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging networks, today announces the appointment of former Global Product Director at McDonald’s, James Wehner, as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
During his five years at McDonald’s, James 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, sparking an industry-wide customer experience revolution, now synonymous with fast food, retail, and other consumer experiences.
Bringing his experience and expertise to the EV charging industry, James’ 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.
James Wehner, CTO of Engenie, 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, James was simultaneously rebuilding this technology from the ground up and re-inventing self-service experience for McDonald’s customers. He played a key role in delivering the ubiquitous self-service experience we see in McDonald’s restaurants across the world today. James’ customer-focussed technology was first introduced in Australia as a pilot in 2018 and saw early success with use of kiosks almost tripling in just four weeks to 34% of all orders. The average value of each order at these kiosks was also 10-15% higher when compared to orders made at the front counter in the same restaurants.
Over his five year tenure, James constantly strove to improve the customer experience through this technology and as the rollout progressed world-wide, the value of orders coming through this channel grew by over $3bn. Customer satisfaction levels mirrored this impressive growth, with a staff and customer surveys both showing improvements in levels of satisfaction. James 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.”
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.
Ian 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.”