Can shared home electric vehicle chargers be the oases in the EV 'charging deserts'?
A recent report by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) on the UK's electric vehicle charge point network acknowledged that some sectors, such as charging at workplaces, shopping centres and private parking (garages and driveways) are doing well. However, there are areas of concern, including the roll-out of on-street charging by local authorities being too slow, and rural areas being left behind with not enough charge points due to lack of investment.
This has led to 'charging deserts' with some areas having far more chargers available than others for example – London has 80 per 10,000 of population, whilst Yorkshire and Humber has only 20. More details in Further action needed on EV charging to meet Net Zero.
Rather than just focusing on more public electric chargers – let's make the most of the home electric vehicle chargers already installed
Whilst there are around 39,000 public chargers in the UK, there are over 400,000 home electric vehicle chargers. By sharing some of these chargers though Community Charging people living in flats and terraces who live in a 'charging desert' or who would rather not be reliant on a public charger can make the shift to electric motoring sooner.
Community Charging is the utilisation of community resources including chargers, space and infrastructure to allow members of that community to run electric vehicles. Co Charger is currently the only purpose-built Community Charging platform.
Co Charger enables those who have chargers, whether motorists, businesses or community buildings to share them with neighbours who don't. It connects Hosts with Chargees. Hosts are motorists and organisations with an EV charger they'd be open to sharing. Chargees are people who have an electric vehicle, or are considering buying one but aren't able to charge at home. The app handles the 'matchmaking', communications, bookings, reminders, calculatations and payments – how it works is described in Co Charger's latest video Co Charger – Together We're Electrifying.
The process and payment structure is deliberately very simple. At the end of each charging session the Chargee pays via a card pre-registered in the app and the Host receives that payment minus Co Charger's 12% fee. There is no other cost or commitment.
For a motorist living in a flat or terrace without a nearby public charger, being able to use a neighbour's charger can represent an 'oasis' in the 'charging desert.'
Joel Teague, CEO of Co Charger says, 'Yes, we need more public chargers, but we already have hundreds of thousands of private ones, paid for and maintained that do nothing for all but a few hours a week. Charge point sharing can rapidly increase the number of available chargers – right now, without waiting for additional government funding or upgrading of the charging infrastructure. It's a quick, cheap, self-scaling solution. What's really important is to help those motorists desperate to get out of their fossil fuel vehicle and into an electric one but who are blocked because they don't have anywhere to charge. By charging on a neighbour's driveway they'll have access to reliable, bookable, affordable charging – the closest possible experience to having a charger of their own. All it takes is for the community of EV charge point owners to see the benefits of sharing – to their pockets, to their communities and to the planet. We need everyone working in sustainable transport – especially in government – to bring about a charge point sharing culture in the UK.'
Co Charger has more EV charging points available than Tesla Destination Chargers
Co Charger now has over 1,628 Hosts with driveway chargers available to rent. This is higher than the number of Tesla Destination chargers, which currently stands at 1176( Zap Map data July 2021). Co Charger's total user base is 3,905 and has grown on average over 40% a month during 2021. Co Charger now has Hosts and Chargees in every major UK city and town.
Co Charger is raising investment via the highly Ethex platform – to find out more go to https://www.ethex.org.uk/invest/co-charger. Co Charger also plans to extend to other markets and has had enquiries from the USA, Canada, Spain, The Netherlands, Sweden and Australia.
Co Charger in the media
Co Charger has attracted significant amounts of media attention, having featured on BBC News Channel, Radio 5 Live and many other outlets. It has been covered in The Guardian 'Got an electric car charger at home? Share it and earn cash '
Autocar Good Neighbours: an EV charging solution for motorists with no driveway
Forbes 'Charger sharing could be the solution to the EV infrastructure problem'
and The Sunday Times 'Can't find an electric car charger – rent the neighbour's',
It has also been featured on Fully Charged Plus, in which EV expert Robert Llewellyn interviews Joel Teague 'No driveway, no problem!'
From petrol-head to electric vehicle superfan.
When reformed petrol-head turned electric vehicle superfan Joel Teague was convinced to buy an electric car by a neighbour five years ago, he little realised it would lead to his developing the concept of Community Charging.
'I used to drive Jaguars, which I would buy second-hand,' explains Joel. 'But after persuasion by a neighbour I decided to invest in a new Renault Zoe because it offered a smooth, quiet ride and was an ethical choice. The car arrived but the charger installation was delayed and the nearest public charger was seven miles away. I ended up giving that same neighbour a few quid to use their charger once a week until mine arrived. It was such an easy, convenient arrangement and led to a lightbulb moment in which I realised that connecting communities via an app to share chargers could unlock electric vehicle ownership for millions of motorists.'