Cody Francis has entered the electric vehicle world after a career in marketing. He is in the envious position of enjoying an income from his other businesses that allows him to follow his passion for EVs. I recently interviewed Cody for this article. “Destination EV Charging is a company that we started after purchasing a Tesla. Having had a background in tourism and especially regional tours, I saw the opportunity to supply cost effective commercial charging solutions. The main objective is to get regional visitor destinations to be comfortably available to EV drivers. EV drivers will always prefer a venue that has made allowances for their needs. With the growing market in EVs, venue owners are slowly welcoming this new growing niche.
“We are a locally owned and operated business that will give you service 2nd to none. Made possible by our preferred supplier NoodoeEV, who have an amazing international representation.
“A conversation with Dennis from ‘The Manor’ on Mount Tamborine was interesting when he asked if I supply him with a unit, won’t I then supply it to the other local venues. ‘I won’t be special,’ Dennis said, to which I replied, ‘then imagine you are the only one in the area who doesn’t have one.’ I then explained how it is very similar to the uptake of eftpos for businesses.”
The charger install went ahead.
Cody himself enjoys driving a special vehicle. Though, with Tesla Model 3s becoming so common on the mountain, he is looking forward to driving the Cybertruck he has ordered when it arrives on our shores. Then he will be special indeed.
Cody and DEVC are the reason that we could access the Noodoe charger at The Manor. I asked him about his approach to venues. Cody owns a marketing company in Nerang, near the Gold Coast in Queensland. The initial approach to a winery, or a hotel, etc., is made with a phone call.
He puts his product under the nose of those who will benefit from it. “What’s in it for me,” they ask. Many venue operators can’t see the need yet. However, after the initial contact, they start to notice how many EVs are on the road, and rapidly their numbers are increasing. Cody is making the venue owners aware of a problem they don’t know exists, then offering a value-for-money solution. Customers who drive an EV will go where they can get a recharge.
When we travel, Majella and I take every opportunity to engage with the management of resorts and alert them to the coming needs of an ever-growing EV population — as we did in Windang with surprising results. I would encourage our readers to do the same.
Cody shared some of his sales patter with me. He is obviously a master of the sales pitch….
“We offer an opportunity to bring an EV drive product to your establishment. It uses no more power than an air conditioner on a single phase 7 kWh unit. Most venue owners are not electricians — so we need to address their concerns about load balance and adequate power supply. Arran from ReGen EV can do the installs, or they can use their own electricians.”
The main objection is: “Do I really need this yet?” Dennis was in retail when EFTPOS machines came in, and he remembers the resistance to change at that time. He sees EVs as the new EFTPOS machine. “I’m not going to pay $2000 for a machine — people will always use cash!” Retailers objected to the 1.7% cost from the banks for using EFTPOS. Eventually, convenience and mathematics won out. EVs are also the new smartphones — a device that provides convenience and a solution to people’s needs, needs that they were previously unaware of. I can remember the controversy over the iPhone — who can forget the videos purporting to show a set of phones exploding an egg. Now they are ubiquitous, like EFTPOS machines.
On a lighter note, Cody shared with me some of the ways he deals with objections from the general public. He has a quick wit and an extensive repertoire. I am hoping he can join us for some of the EV events coming up in the second half of this year.
“Oh, electric cars? Have you been in one? No? So you would rather believe what the petrol companies are telling you? What about recycling those big batteries? You have been using phones, laptops, etc. all these years — do you recycle the batteries? Do you recycle the oil from your car? Do you realise that the oil companies could price petrol at $5 a litre and there is nothing you could do about it. For the first time in history, we have a cleaner, cheaper, faster option. My car saves me $400 a month in fuel, can be updated over the air via software, and is a lot of fun to drive.”
Cody says, “Countering the resistance is the easiest part. Some say that Elon is insane, why would you buy a car from him? I say, should we stand with the billionaires at Shell and Chevron instead?” Cody uses his sense of humour to disarm and educate.
Sometimes Cody has to drive his diesel SUV to an installation site, and people complain. He explains that he can’t drive his Tesla out because the winery/hotel/resort does not have a charger. He agrees with the detractors who say that there is not enough charging infrastructure. “I’m working on that!”
Cody believes that EV drivers can discern value. They are concerned about health. They also have more disposable income because they are saving so much on fuel. EV drivers think about solutions for the environment. Their need is not desperate — they can always plug into a power point anywhere. Cody would like to make it more convenient.
He expects that Destination EV Charging will be profitable in a couple of years. After all, it was only launched just before Christmas 2022. Currently, he is providing lots of quotes and expects a surge in installations in the next month or so. In the meantime, he is having fun and enjoying being part of the rEVolution.
I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
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