Don't have an electric car charger? Rent your neighbour's with EV charger sharing app Co Charger
2020 was a breakout year for electric vehicle uptake, with figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealing that one electric vehicle was registered every three minutes. However the inability to charge at home remains one of the biggest barriers to electric car ownership. Motorists living in flats and terraced houses can feel 'locked out' of EV ownership or reliant on public chargers, which may be too far away, booked up or even out of order.
However whilst there are already 35,000 public chargers in the UK, this is a fraction of the number of home chargers – estimated to be at least 300,000. By sharing even a small percentage of these chargers, the EV charging scene in the UK can be transformed.
Co Charger enables those who do have chargers, whether motorists, businesses or community buildings to share them with neighbours who don't. 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.
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.
How the app works is described in Co Charger's latest video Co Charger – Together We're Electrifying.
'If widespread electric vehicle adoption is going to be successful, all motorists have to have easy, convenient and dependable access to chargers,' says Joel Teague, CEO of Co Charger. '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 once or twice 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.'