DfT £50million EV charging boost supported by charger sharing scheme Co Charger

The Department of Transport has announced a government boost of £50 million to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. Support for small businesses, landlords and leaseholders: government charges up the electric vehicle revolution with £50 million boost.

The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), which provides up to £350 towards a charge point will be expanded to include people in rented and leasehold accommodation.

The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) will also be opened up allowing charities and small businesses such as B&Bs to benefit from funding, boosting access to EV charging in rural areas.

There is also a pledge to make it simpler and more reliable to use public charge points.

Joel Teague, CEO of Co Charger, a charger sharing scheme very much supports this initiative. 'Easy access to EV charging should be for everyone – not just homeowners with driveways. Previously motorists in rented accommodation or in rural areas might have felt unable to transition to an EV, but this is a significant step towards ensuring that no-one is 'locked out' of the electric vehicle revolution. But this levels the playing field and recognises the importance of leaseholders, tenants and small businesses in helping their neighbourhood to go electric.'

Co Charger enables those who do have chargers, whether motorists, businesses or community buildings to share them with neighbours who don't. Described as 'Air BnB for electric cars', the Co Charger app connects Hosts with Chargees. Hosts are motorists and organisations with an EV charger they'd be open to sharing, whether that's a neighbour, charity, or a small business. The app enables Hosts to manage bookings and set the price they would like to charge for the service. Chargees are people who have an electric vehicle, or are considering buying one but aren't able to charge at home.

'It's great to see the government backing the installation of more charger points in rented and leasehold accommodation and in the car parks of small businesses,' says Joel. 'What can make these schemes even more effective is if a proportion of those charge points are shared – enabling

motorists who live in flats and terraced houses to buy an electric car.'

Currently the majority of electric vehicle owners charge at home. Motorists living in accommodation without a charger who would like to transition to an EV are faced with the prospect of being reliant on public chargers – which can often be too far away, booked up or even out of order.

'If widespread electric vehicle adoption is going to be successful, all motorists have to have easy, convenient and dependable access to chargers,' says Joel. 'One way to make this happen is via Community Charging, which is supported by the Co Charger app. Community Charging involves using community resources such as existing home or business chargers to enable members of that community to run an electric vehicle. In practice it means a motorist living in a flat can have an arrangement with a nearby neighbour with a driveway to charge at theirs a couple of times a week, ideally overnight when tariffs are cheaper. It's an arrangement that's hugely beneficial for both parties. The Host can earn some extra income from renting out their charger, whilst the Chargee gets the nearest possible experience to home charging. And they can both enjoy living in a cleaner, greener neighbourhood.'

'I know how challenging it can be to run an electric car without a charger because I was once in that position myself,' adds Joel. 'Five years ago, a neighbour convinced me to get an electric car. My new Renault Zoe arrived, but the charger installation was delayed, and my nearest public charger was miles away. I ended up giving the 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.'

Joel himself is a reformed petrol-head turned electric vehicle superfan. 'I used to drive Jaguars, which I would buy second-hand. But then I decided to invest in a new Renault Zoe because it offered a smooth, quiet ride and was an ethical choice. However, as is the case for a lot of motorists going electric did mean stretching my budget when it came to the initial purchase but I knew that over time the low running costs would make the car a wise financial choice for me and my family. If I hadn't been able to charge at either at home or within my immediate neighbourhood the transition to an electric vehicle wouldn't have been viable – and with Co Charger I want to help more motorists have the same opportunity.'

Notes to Editors

Co Charger has been featured on Radio 5 Live, in Autocar , Forbes and The Sunday Times, and is a member of the Society of Motor manufacturers and traders (SMMT). It is also engaged with the Energy Saving Trust, the Renewable Energy Association, the Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV) and other environmental and business organisations including major car manufacturers.

The Sunday Times - Can't find an electric car charger? Rent the neighbours
Autocar – Home charger rental service launched for UK EV owners
Forbes – Charger sharing could be the answer to the EV infrastructure problem

Media contact and interviews
Co Charger CEO Joel Teague is available for interview via Skype, Zoom or in person, respecting social distancing guidelines.
01392 240840
07941 888679
email - Joel.Teague@co-charger.com
Co Charger director Sam Routledge samro@samroutledge.com

About Co Charger
Co Charger is developing a community that will help accelerate electric vehicle adoption. Through our app and collaborations we enable people who cannot charge a vehicle at home to do so within a short walking distance.
Co Charger is an environmentally and socially responsible company and aiming to become a B corporation certified organisation.
Co Charger is affiliated with the Co Cars family which also includes Co Bikes and Co Delivery. Together we are accelerating towards a shared, zero-emissions future.

Co Charger is actively collaborating with other organisations and businesses such as councils and car manufacturers to raise awareness of Community Charging and help accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles.

Payment operates on the AirBnB model, 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 are available in the Co Charger FAQs.

Co Charger Host – financial incentive
If a Host has 4 Chargees each doing an average mileage (7800) in cars with average efficiency a host could potentially make £470 a year in total.
This is based on the Host having an electricity tariff of 15p per kWh, and charging £1.70 an hour.
If the Host and the 4 Chargees use charge scheduling to use cheap electricity on a variable tariff (eg Octopus Go at 5p per kWh from 00.30am to 04.30am) the Host's profit rises to over £1300 a year.
Each of the 4 Chargees would be paying around £9 a week/£480 per year to charge their cars and would not have the added expense of installing a charger.

Unlocking the benefits of electric vehicle ownership for all motorists
Once electric vehicle ownership was seen as an eco-friendly but expensive choice. But with list prices dropping, and second-hand vehicles coming onto the market it's now becoming an attractive option for the budget conscious. With running costs at around 4-6p a mile rather than 12p for a petrol or diesel car (Energy Saving Trust) running an electric vehicle can offer significant savings.

Sources and references

Motor Trade news – One EV registered every 3 minutes in the UK 2020
The Times - Poshest addresses lead the charge for electric vehicles
Autocar - Report reveals stark disparities in electric car ownership
English Housing Survey 2016 - At least 40% of people live in terraced houses or flats without a private driveway.
Connected Kerb research – Moving from early adopters to mainstream buyers report here
67% of electric vehicle owners would not have made the switch if they had to rely on public chargers. And nearly 9 in 10 of non-EV owners would be encouraged to make their next car purchase an EV if they had a space to charge it overnight.
Energy Saving Trust - Cost of running and electric car
Estimated number of public chargers - Go Ultra Low - number of public charging points in the UK
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 the amount of home charge points in the UK.
However, it is possible to work from the following data - By October 2020 OLEV has funded 120,000 home chargers. In addition some car manufacturers offer free charger installation with purchase of a new vehicle.
As of November 2020 there are an estimated 385,000 plug-in cars and vans in the UK. 80% of these motorists charge at home (according to the Energy Saving Trust). This gives estimated 308,000 home charge points.

Image credit: @generatemedia_

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