4 reasons why Community Charging is accelerating EV ownership

Community Charging involves sharing home electric vehicle charge points and enables motorists with driveway chargers to rent them out to neighbours who live in homes where they can't have a charge point of their own. The 'matchmaking', bookings and payments are all taken care of via an app.

Co Charger is the only purpose-built Community Charging app and has shown that people are very willing to share their charge points, having come from zero to over 9,000 users and 3,200 available charge points in 18 months. Co Charger is now the third largest and fastest-growing UK charging network, bigger than BP Pulse (3,052), Tesla (Destination and Supercharger 2,040) and ChargePlace Scotland (1,915) (source Zap-Map May 2022 ).

1. The transition to electric vehicles can't work without Community Charging

The Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT), the Government and environmental organisations have all expressed serious concerns about whether the public charging network can keep up with demand. Currently most electric vehicle owners are charging at home. But for the UK to reach Net Zero by 2050 it's essential for the estimated 14 million motorists living in flats, terraced houses, and rented homes to be able to charge easily and affordably.

Despite the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, the charging infrastructure hasn't kept pace. The SMMT report 'Plugging the Gap ' states that the ratio for plug-in cars per public charger has dropped by half in the last twelve months. There is now one charge point for every 32 plug-in vehicles compared one for every 16 in 2021.

'The transition to electric vehicles isn't going to work by focusing on public charging alone,' says Joel Teague, CEO of Co Charger. 'We can't have a two-tier system in which charger 'haves' can top up easily and affordably whilst the 'have-nots' are faced with the prospect of tracking down a public charger that's available, not broken and with a reasonable tariff. And with public charger installation not keeping pace with EV uptake the pressure on available chargers is only going to get worse. Public chargers are expensive to install and maintain, costing up to £8000 or more and in many rural areas they won't be commercially viable. Community Charging is a hugely significant part of the EV charging 'jigsaw'. Its focus isn't on creating more expensive infrastructure but making the most of what's already there. There are currently just over 30,000 public chargers available but over 400,000 home chargers. If even 10% of charger owners share them with their neighbours we can double the number of available chargers overnight – without a single hole being drilled or a penny of public money spent.'

2. It creates Happy Hosts and Cheerful Chargees

Community Charging is reliant on community-minded 'Hosts' – electric vehicle charger owners who are happy to share with a few neighbours living without a driveway or in flats and terraces. The 'Host' can arrange bookings for times that are convenient for them and set an appropriate fee which is paid via the app. There's the option to make additional income by charging above the basic costs for the charger rental. Co Charger 'Hosts' report being delighted at discovering such an easy way to help their neighbours transition to an electric vehicle, creating a cleaner, greener neighbourhood and fighting climate change.

Co Charger 'Chargees' are often desperate to get out of their fossil fuel vehicle but have been blocked by not having convenient charging close to home. It isn't possible to book most public chargers so there's always uncertainty about being able to charge and the need to stay with the vehicle or pick it up promptly afterwards. But charging on a neighbour's driveway, when it may be possible to leave the vehicle overnight, creates the closest possible experience for motorists to having a charger of their own.

Such charging practices can also help employees whose businesses decide to go electric. With increasing numbers of companies, like DPD, leading the way, employees may need to find charging facilities near home. Utilising Community Charging as a means of supporting these workers increases efficiency and reduces stress.

3. Community Charging has the support of councils, government and the automotive industry

In the Government report ‘Taking charge: the electric vehicle infrastructure strategy ’ published in March 2022, Community Charging was highlighted as an important way of expanding the UK's charging network. The report stated that 'Peer to peer charging (also known as Community Charging) will see many people making their private charge points available to rent'.

Increasing numbers of councils, including Dorset , Kent and Oxfordshire , have flagged up Community Charging on their websites as an option for residents.

Community Charging is also supported by Edmund King OBE, the President of the AA who says, 'More emphasis needs to be given to the third of households with no dedicated off-street parking provision whose residents may struggle to charge their EVs. This is where Community Charging and charge point sharing has a massive role to play. This will be a positive way of levelling up, so we can give power to all electric drivers, no matter where they live.'

4. Community Charging can help EV charging become more accessible

According to a survey by The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RIDC), 73% of respondents perceive public charge points as being neither accessible nor easy to use. Charging on a neighbour's driveway has the potential to be a positive solution for many disabled motorists, offering bookable charging at a familiar location that is likely to offer more space than most public chargers. Co Charger has partnered with Motability Operations to offer a pilot project in which Motability Scheme customers trial the Co Charger app to charge their electric vehicles. Joel Teague, CEO of Co Charger says, 'One of the main reasons Co Charger was developed was to increase accessibility to electric vehicles and help more people swap to an EV. With up to half of all disabled motorists expected to be partially or wholly reliant on the public charging network by 2035, sharing private chargers is a quick and easy way to help others. We very much hope this will provide an additional incentive to encourage more charger owners to share.'

Notes to Editors

Media contact and interviews

Co Charger CEO Joel Teague is available for interview via Skype, Zoom or in person
email - Joel.Teague@co-charger.com /07941 888679

Maria McCarthy – maria@mariamccarthy.co.uk /07799527974

AA President Edmund King supports Community Charger Sharing

Edmund King also made a video in support of Community Charging and posted it on Linkedin

Case studies
We can offer Co Charger case studies of Hosts and Chargees for quotes and broadcast.

Sources and references

Zap Map UK public charger statistics May 2022
SMMT March 2022 'Plugging the Gap' report
Government March 2022 Taking Charge: the electric vehicle infrastructure strategy
Councils including Community Charging on their websites include Kent
Charging Electric vehicles in Kent, Oxfordshire - https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/roads-and-transport/connecting-oxfordshire/electric-vehicles and Dorset - Electric Vehicle Charge points in Dorset
Going electric? Research report into the accessibility of plug-in vehicles by the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers
Estimated number of home chargers
According to a recent query to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) there is not an exact number available for home charge points in the UK.
However, it is possible to work from the following data:-
The SMMT and ZapMapi (March 2022) state there are more than 460,000 pure electric vehicles on UK roads and more than 380,000 plug-in hybrids. According to Which?, 87% of charging is done at home, so if even 80% of the fully electric vehicles alone have a home charger there will be over 400,000 home charge points across the UK. Given many owners of hybrid vehicles will also have home chargers, this is likely to be a considerable under-estimate of the true number around.

Support for Co Charger from the automotive industry, government and media

Co Charger has attracted a lot of media interest, including coverage on BBC and Sky News, Radio 4/You and Yours, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and Autocar.

About Co Charger

Co Charger is the UK’s only purpose-built Community Charging app and uses this community to help accelerate electric vehicle adoption. The service has more than 3,200 registered Hosts, equating to the fourth biggest EV charging network in the UK. Through the app and collaborations, Co Charger enables people who cannot charge a vehicle at home to do so within a short walking distance.
Payment operates with the Chargee paying Co Charger and Co Charger passing that onto the host, after taking a nominal fee. The Co Charger app is available for both iOS and Android, free to download and there is no subscription. More information about how charging sessions are managed is available in the Co Charger FAQs.
Summing up Co Charger in 60 seconds – YouTube video - Co Charger – Together We're Electrifying!

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