How charging your electric vehicle on your neighbour's driveway became a top motoring trend in 2021
What an amazing year it's been for electric vehicles! The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that sales of battery electric vehicles in November 2021 were twice that of November 2020 and one in every six new cars purchased is now a plug-in.
Despite this, the report also stated that the rate of growth in public charging infrastructure is falling behind with only one charger installed for every 52 new plug-in cars registered this year.
Growing impact and influence of Community Charging during 2021
However, Community Charging, a new development which has really taken off in 2021 and is set to get even bigger in 2022, is transforming the UK's electric vehicle charging landscape. It is helping ensure the 15 million motorists living in flats and terraces aren't 'locked out' of electric vehicle ownership because they can't charge at home.
What is Community Charging?
Community Charging enables 'Hosts', who have EV chargers on their driveways to share them with 'Chargees' - motorists who can't charge at home and who would welcome the chance to access bookable, reliable and affordable charging on a neighbour's driveway. The 'Host' can make additional income whilst the 'Chargee' can transition to electric sooner. And both of them know they're helping make their neighbourhood cleaner and greener.
AA President Edmund King supports Community Charging
Community Charging is backed 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.'
From 'start-up' to fifth biggest EV charging network with more charge points than Tesla'.
Co Charger is currently the UK's only purpose-built Community Charging platform. After extensive research and development, it was launched in November 2020. The Co Charger app handles all the 'matchmaking', bookings and payments.
This time last year very few people were even aware of Community Charging. But since its launch Co Charger has grown to become the 5th largest charging network in the UK, with almost 6000 users and over 2200 available charging points via its 'Hosts'.
This outranks established companies such as Tesla with 1959 chargers (1179 destination chargers and 780 superchargers), Source London (1605), Instavolt (657) and ChargePlace Scotland (1908) Zap-Map December 2021 .
Charger sharing via Co Charger offers motorists more charging options, whether that's in highly populated cities where there's increasing pressure on available charge points or in rural villages where it might not be economically viable for a company or council to install charge points.
There are currently around 40,000 electric vehicle charge points available in the UK but ten times that number of home chargers. If even 1 in 10 of these was shared the number of available charge points would double – right now, without any additional funding, planning, road digging, or upgrading of the charging infrastructure.
Says Joel Teague, CEO of Co Charger, 'We’ve seen massive interest in Community Charging during 2021 with thousands of motorists signing up as Hosts and Chargees, 150 individuals coming on board to invest £500,000 as part of our seed plus fundraising and extensive media coverage. The response within the industry and from government has been overwhelmingly positive.
'You don't often get an idea that benefits everyone at the cost of no one, but that's what Community Charging offers. Everyone benefits from the environmental improvements of course. But economically it solves problems for a lot of sectors: car companies can ensure that no one leaves a showroom with a fossil-fuel vehicle just because they can't charge at home. Central and local government, as well as key government and industry figures, get an immediate, free boost towards their environmental targets. Public charger companies see more EVs on the road sooner, boosting their customer base. Fleet owners can electrify sooner, and renewable energy providers actually see fossil-fuel money diverted into clean energy via their customers' domestic supplies. This is what collaborative thinking and an openness to innovation brings, and we're very proud of being part of that.
‘Going into 2022, the uptake of electric vehicles is set to increase even further. For the millions of motorists who can’t have their own charger and are eager to get out of their polluting fossil fuel vehicle and transition to greener electric motoring, Community Charging and Co Charger help make that a reality.’
Co Charger in action – making it easier to go electric
'By far the most satisfying part of Co Charger's success has been seeing the difference it makes out in the real world,' says Joel Teague. 'We really value the emails and social media messages we receive from users saying how it's helped them go electric.'
One example is Craig Lambie, from Sandbach in Cheshire. Property developer Craig and his wife wanted to go electric because of their concern about climate change. However, they live in a terraced house and got their Kia e-Nero knowing they wouldn't be able to have a charger of their own.
Initially they managed using public chargers. But then Craig spotted Co Charger on social media and signed up. Since then, he's been charging with Host Stuart Hunt, who lives a 15 minute walk away.
'If you don't have off-street parking Co Charger is definitely the best solution,' says Craig. 'Bookings and payments have been simple and easy. My Host has solar panels and a renewable energy tariff, and I appreciate the opportunity to charge overnight, at a time when I'll be using the greenest energy possible. I highly recommend that EV charge point owners sign up as Co Charger Hosts and help their neighbours transition to electric. As an added bonus, it's been great to connect with another electric vehicle fan locally! '