How do we double the number of electric vehicle charge points overnight? EV charge point sharing!
There are currently around 39,000 public electric vehicle charge points available in the UK and over 400,000 home chargers. By sharing even a fraction of them via Community Charging, electric vehicle uptake can be transformed.
Co Charger – rapid expansion and making electric vehicle charger sharing a reality
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.
The Co Charger app connects 'Hosts' – motorists with an electric vehicle charger they are happy to share with 'Chargees' – motorists who can't charge at home and who would welcome the chance to access convenient, affordable charging on a neighbour's driveway. The Co Charger app handles all the 'matchmaking', bookings and payments – how it works is described in this video Co Charger – Together We're Electrifying.
Co Charger was launched in November 2020 and during 2021 has seen 34% growth month-on-month - including 1,000 new users during May 2021.
User numbers are currently 4114, with 2413 Chargees and 1701 Hosts. These Host numbers means Co Charger already has more charge points available than many other charge point companies. For example, it outnumbers Tesla's Destination Chargers (1181) according to Zap-Map statistics August 2021.
Becoming a Co Charger Host is an simple way for motorists to help their neighbourhood become greener and combat climate change
Downloading the Co Charger app is free and easy and the host sets the price they want to charge for the electricity and which bookings to accept. They are in control at all times. With a few taps on their phone, a charger owner can help create a cleaner, greener neighbourhood – as well as making some additional income through regular bookings.
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.
Doubling the available public charge points
So all that's needed to double the available public chargers without a single hole being dug or a cable laid is for just 10% of the 400,000 home charger owners to decide to share their charger – making 40,000 chargers available straight away.
Joel Teague, CEO of Co Charger says, 'Sometimes the option isn't more hardware. It's making better use of what we have and through communities helping themselves. At Co Charger we have shown how people are very willing to share their chargers, having come from zero to nearly 1700 charge points on our network in 10 months and and average growth of over 30% per month this year – all without so much as fitting a new fuse.'
Becoming a Co Charger Chargee can help motorists without their own driveway charger to transition from an ICE vehicle to an electric one.
According to the English Housing Survey. around 40% (14.5 million) motorists live in a flat or terraced house and can't have a charger at home. Research by EV infrastructure company Connected Kerb From early adopters to mainstream buyers reveals that two thirds of existing 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.
And with Co Charger, that space can be their neighbour's driveway – a far more dependable and affordable option than a public charger, which might be some distance away, booked up or even broken.
'Charging at a nearby neighbour's offers what motorists actually need to make the switch to an electric vehicle,' says Joel Teague. 'It's convenient, and you can go home to bed while the car charges overnight. It's the closest possible experience to having a charger of your own. We have had Chargees buy their first ever electric vehicle because they now have the convenient and easy option of charging at their neighbours. Community Charging and Co Charger gets people out of ICE vehicles and into electric ones – and with the growing climate crisis and deaths and illnesses from air pollution that's what's desperately needed right now.'
Joel adds, '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. 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 and especially in government – to bring about a charge point sharing culture in the UK.'
Co Charger is raising investment via the highly respected Ethex platform – to find out more go to https://www.ethex.org.uk/invest/co-charger.
Co Charger is currently UK based but interest has been shown globally – including the USA, Canada, Australia, Spain and the Netherlands.
Co Charger host Stefano Tonell
Retired architect Stefano Tonelli from Dulwich spotted Co Charger on social media and signed up as a host straight away. 'We live in a house with a driveway and have our own charger, but most of my neighbours live in Victorian terraced houses,' Stefano explains. 'We are just inside the South Circular and both the traffic and pollution levels are high. My attitude is that we owe it to the world and our children to go greener. If I can help my neighbours switch to electric cars by sharing my charger I'm delighted to do so.'
More information about Stefano and images can be found here – other case studies of Hosts and Chargees are available.
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.'