How did you end up at GWI?
Janko: I am here from the beginning, I joined the GreenWay project in 2012. Back then we worked with electric vehicles up to 3.5 tons, battery changing stations, batteries and IT systems. Electric mobility in Slovakia almost didn’t exist and we wanted to fill this gap and become the Slovak pioneers in this area. Somewhere on the way we came up with the idea of charging infrastructure and we achieved a big milestone – we built 15 charging stations from the east to the west of Slovakia in just one year. We launched the communication, first clients registered to our network and we created the first client databases. I was in charge of both communications with the customers and technical site of the network operation.
Maťo: I have been here for 3 months. At my previous job I worked with charging stations as well, but my employer intended to change direction. I already knew for sure that I wanted to keep working with the chargers, so I intentionally visited the GreenWay web to search for job openings and I was very lucky that they really were looking for new people at that time. I had a very good feeling at the interview already, I think we just clicked. It was obvious that they were really searching for someone who believes in electric mobility, just as I did.
Ondro: Before I came to GWI I worked as an electrician at a construction company. I heard that GWI is looking for an electrician, so I came to an interview although until then I didn’t know GreenWay at all. My first impressions were mixed, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, as I didn’t know much about electric mobility. I started to look for more information and realized that I saw the future in this, that we need to look after our country and planet and this is a way to do it. I was intrigued and wanted to know more.
What does asset management team actually do?
Maťo: Slovak translation of asset management sounds more like something related to accounting. I don’t know if that is a correct translation, but it has nothing to do with accounting, we are operating our network and charging stations and are in charge of service and maintenance. Practically all three of us do everything, but if I should distribute the competencies somehow, then I am mainly in charge of reporting, Janko takes care of our back-end system and Ondro is mostly in the field. At the moment we are also searching for a new software that would help us with our work and substitute all the excel sheets that we work with now. This is also our way of preparing for our growth and the massive increase of electric vehicles which we believe will come.
Janko: Maťo is the overall manager. I am mostly in charge of back-end system, for instance when we have a new station that needs to be added to the system, or when we need to configure the communication with a charger. I also work as a hot line for our clients, I am their contact point after the working hours. If our customer has a problem during the night or on a Sunday, he calls me and I am trying to solve the situation. During our standard working days we are testing and checking the communication of our chargers, solving problems, or testing new chargers.
Ondro: I am the one that goes to the field the most. If possible, we are trying to solve problems with the chargings remotely, but it depends on the issue. If we need to restart the charger we can do that from the office, but sometimes we need to physically go there, solve the problem and check if everything works as it should. We also do regular service inspections, change the filters, check the connectors, and do the overall revisions.
How would you describe GWI? What makes it different from other companies?
Ondro: I appreciate the team spirit the most. Nobody works just for themselves, we help each other and together we work towards a common goal. There is a very supportive atmosphere here. We are searching for solutions together, not doing things mindlessly, but trying to connect our skills and knowledge so our results will really work well.
Janko: In my opinion it is mostly the great team and the opportunities for self – realization. We are often working on new issues and there are no standards of our work, so we have to find a way ourselves. I am completely satisfied here, happy with the people, dynamics and scope of my work.
Maťo: There are two companies in Slovakia that are working with electric mobility in a larger scale. One is a corporation and then there is us, a smaller company with friendly relationships and clear philosophy which everybody here believes in. Our goal is not the turnover, but the development of electric mobility in our region and that is what I like the most.
Can you share any strong moment that you experienced here at GWI?
Maťo: Whenever the charger behaves as it should during the testing phase it is a small victory for us 😊 A very positive experience was when our customer selflessly removed snow from a parking space completely covered in snow. And what I will remember for sure as well, is painting the parking places in deep minus temperatures 😊
Janko: Just to be a part of this all is a very strong thing for me. But the biggest milestone in my work here was the launch of the very first 15 chargers.
Ondro: Once when traveling from a charging station in Zilina I didn’t check my remaining rage properly and the battery in my electric van died on the highway. I had to get off the highway and started to call my colleagues trying to get someone to pick me up. In the end my colleague Zuzka and her friend came and pulled me to the closest charger. You really need to be careful about the range 😊
How would you describe people of GWI?
Janko: Kind, funny, honest and hard working. There is nobody here that just comes to and from work. I don’t know who is responsible for this, but we all really want to do what we do, there is this engagement and enthusiasm for our work.
We are also doing stuff outside of the office, in the winter we do cross-country skiing and in the summer we play volleyball together. We are not just colleagues, we are also friends. Ondro: In think the team here is really great, I like my colleagues a lot. I know that if I have a problem I can come to anybody and we will help and support each other.
How do you perceive electric mobility and how has your perception changed since working at GWI?
Ondro: My first contact with electric mobility was when I came to GWI. Here I also drove an electric vehicle for the first time what was a new and pleasant experience for me. I think that electric mobility is better from both ecological and user point of view and it will become the right path once it develops properly. It is just a matter of time when that happens – the production of electric vehicles will rise, they will become cheaper, the technologies will improve and the range will increase. I believe that the solutions helping electric mobility will keep coming and once all cars will be electric.
Maťo: My perception of electric mobility is very positive and I consider it a clear future. It is like when horses were substituted by cars. There were some problems, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed. Since I came to GWI I see this issue in more depth. I came here wanting to be an expert and now I am starting to become one. I don’t want to sound like an ecoterrorist, but I think electric mobility is not only important, it is inevitable.
How do you see the future of electric mobility and GWI?
Janko: I think that we still have a lot of work in front of us, but it is already clear that people really want to improve the environment. Electric mobility is a simple, intelligent solution that saves our planet and I think that fossil cars will be substituted by electric sooner or later. GWI will continue to grow and will remain the leading provider of charging infrastructure in our region. Personally, I am looking forward to the further development of the technologies and my personal goal is my further professional growth.
Ondro: I believe that in the future, people will be using chargers as much as they are now using gas stations. Together with the growth of GWI we will grow in our expertise. We will have to understand this topic even better and invest more and more time to the perfection of our network.
Maťo: I think that the massive growth of electric mobility will come in the near future. However, everything also depends on the politics, technology and ecology is one thing, but it is all still depending on the political will. GWI will still be a big player on the market and our department will have the software solutions that we are now looking for in place, the systems will be connected and well working and we will just supervise the flawless operations 😊
How do you recharge your batteries?
Ondro: In my free time I bike a lot, watch a good movie or read books. At the moment I dedicate also my free time to electric mobility, I am reading books about it, so I can better understand it.
Janko: With sports 😊 I do almost everything – paddle board, volleyball, bicycle, tennis, squash.. In the summer I am planning to complete a sea captain training.
Maťo: I spend a lot of time outside, I train swordplay, play chess, play the guitar and read a lot of books.