Green deal
23. March 2021

Interview with Pavol Magic

Mr. Pavol Magic is the CEO of Mobilyze, a business intelligence company for e-mobility. Mr. Magic worked at Sygic as the Head of New Business Development previously, where he was responsible for ideation, development, and launch of new products for the global market. He was also the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of AIESEC Slovakia, co-founded and chaired the Association of Digital Marketing Agencies in Slovakia, and did PR at SEESAME for clients from numerous industries, such as Dell, Motorola, Siemens, Heineken, Henkel, and others.

1. Your platform Mobilyze helps to place the charging stations for electromobiles across the Slovakia more efficiently. What criteria are you looking at when advising on suitable locations for such chargers?
The most important thing is to assess the future potential of a given location. For this purpose, we use a combination of different datasets, which are processed and evaluated by our machine learning models, that look for specific patterns. They evaluate the relations and trends between the traffic volumes, demography, competition, and—of course—the concentration of electric vehicles. We are working on including other crucial factors that affect the investment, such as grid capacity and property availability at the location. We aim to go global eventually, but at the moment we are quite busy with our current markets where we have already established a presence, like Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, UK, Germany, The Netherlands, and we will be entering several other markets by the end of the year.

2. You have recently collaborated with the capital city of Slovakia, Bratislava. What innovative solutions have been tested and implemented during this collaboration? Do you think that Bratislava could potentially become “Smart City”, which would lean towards cleaner and healthier forms of private and public transport?
First step of the cooperation was to create a platform through which we could communicate and cooperate. I am happy that Bratislava thought about this and created a City Lab, which is used for all similar pilot projects, providing startups and enterprises with a real-life environment to test their solutions and becoming a better city for everybody.
The second step was the project itself. It was a cooperation of the City of Bratislava with Biotron Labs and TransData, the developer of the Ubian application, through which we collected location data after the consent of the user.
The goal was to evaluate the mobility of the population and provide various city departments with hard data to support their decisions. I cannot reveal the results at this moment, as the data is being used for projects that are still ongoing. However, all projects are in the domain of transport – such as the construction of park & ride stations or a white space analysis of EV charging in Bratislava.
Getting to the question about Bratislava being a smart city we must first define what a smart city means because it varies wildly. For me, a smart city is a place where everybody can live a healthy and comfortable life. It can be enabled by technology or not. Looking at the recent developments under Mayor Vallo and his team I would say it is on a very good track of becoming a smart city in this sense. However, making all the necessary changes—in transport and everything else—requires a lot of political power and support from the citizens. So, it is also up to us, what kind of city we want Bratislava to be.

3. Do you think that the Slovakian infrastructure is ready for heavy implementation of electromobiles?
Short answer – no. But we are yet to see wider adoption of electric vehicles, so I am not worried about this at all. Whether we are talking about the grid capacity or the actual EV chargers – if there is sufficient demand, the supply will cover the needs. Even though the EV charging business is quite investment-heavy and we cannot expect significant profits for charge point operators in the near future, there are a lot of subsidies that help cover this gap and decrease some of the costs. However, it is always crucial to evaluate planned locations, so the operators will get the returns they need to operate their business.

4. What do you consider to be the main reasons of slow adoption of the electromobiles and alternative fuels in CEE region?
Markets in our region are very price sensitive, so the higher price point of electric vehicles is the number one reason for slow adoption. Range anxiety issues also prevail, which means we will have to invest even more resources into the infrastructure to convince customers not to be afraid. And last – our region is conservative in technology adoption, so the love for “good old” internal combustion engines (ICEs) is here to stay for years to come.

5. And what about your predictions for the coming years when it comes to E-Mobility?
I hate to make predictions – especially in such dynamic industries. But, looking at the Gartner Hype Cycle, electric vehicles are approaching the plateau of productivity and should “be there” in some 5 to 10 years. Many automakers already announced they will be fully electric by 2030, some even sooner. Governments are getting ready to ban ICEs by 2030 as well, so the prediction seems to be rather accurate. This year we will continue to see a lot of investments going into the industry, both as part of a greater vision of a cleaner future, as well as greenwashing. There will be a lot of consolidation, so we can expect to see a lot of M&A activity, especially from the bigger and more traditional players – oil & gas and energy & utility come to mind as the top ones to look out for this year.

Mobilyze is a business intelligence platform that helps to maximize the utilization of EV chargers using big data analytics and AI. Mobilyze identifies current and future EV hotspots. It automatically evaluates all customer´s locations, which reduces costs, time and mitigates risk. It helps customers explore trends, visualize patterns, and draw insights without any GIS or programming skills. Mobilyze uses dozens of open and commercial datasets along with machine learning models which help evaluate the current and predict future EV hotspots.