Pumping fuel or charging an Electric Vehicle – which is easiest?
The current fuel crisis is prompting a major rethink of how we fuel our cars. At a time when motorists with petrol and diesel vehicles are feeling understandably concerned, electric car owners are relaxed and confident that they can still keep their vehicles charged up and ready to go.
It's led increasing numbers of motorists to consider making the switch. Analysis of Google search data reveals that online searches for electric cars increased by 1,600% on the 24th September 2021 when fuel shortages became an issue. This is an opportunity for people to reconsider their relationship with 'fuelling' their vehicle, reflect on what it would be like to have freedom from concerns about supply chain issues – and never having to visit a petrol forecourt again.
'No-one really enjoys visiting a petrol station,' says Joel Teague, CEO of Co Charger, an electric vehicle charger sharing app. 'Standing on a smelly forecourt pumping expensive, polluting fossil fuels into a car is really outdated and inconvenient. Many motorists are deeply concerned about the environment and feel uncomfortable about even being there – they are desperate to transition to electric. And 99% of motorists who make the switch to electric stay switched, which speaks for itself.'
Fuel station vs electric vehicle charging
We're all familiar with the petrol station routine. Making time to stop on the forecourt then paying an eye-watering sum – either at the pump or when venturing into the shop where the goods tend to be expensive and the phrase 'petrol station flowers' has become a standing joke.
With an electric vehicle, the charging experience is far easier. Motorists lucky enough to have a driveway can get a charger installed and bring costs down in a variety of ways, from using off-peak electricity to installing solar panels. There are also 100% renewable energy tariffs available for EV drivers, so they can keep their motoring as eco-friendly as possible.
'If you had a magic petrol pump on your driveway that filled your car while you slept for 20p a litre, how often would you go to the fuel station?' says Joel Teague, CEO of Co Charger, an electric vehicle charger sharing app. 'Because that's what it feels like for electric vehicle drivers who are able to charge at home. Cleaner, greener, cheaper motoring and a charging process that's completely different from petrol and diesel fuelling. Rather than regular visits to the fuel station, it's more like topping up a mobile phone. In fact, when people ask me how long I spend charging my car, I reply, 'I don't know, how long do you spend charging your phone?' People don't know the answer to the mobile phone question because they just charge up when convenient, just as electric vehicle owners do with their cars.'
COMMUNITY CHARGING AND CO-CHARGER – THE CLOSEST EXPERIENCE TO CHARGING AT HOME
However many motorists living in flats and terraces can't charge at home and have to find other charging options. The government is committed to improving the electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and there are currently around 39,000 public chargers in the UK. However, there are also over 400,000 home electric vehicle chargers.
By sharing some of these chargers through Community Charging, people living in flats and terraces who can't have nearby charging options 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, calculations and payments – how it works is described in Co Charger's 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.
Joel Teague says, 'At a time when motorists are especially keen to transition to electric vehicles, we need to ensure those living in flats and terraces aren't 'locked out' of electric vehicle ownership. Being able to rent a charger belonging to a neighbour offers easy, dependable, affordable charging – the next best thing to having a charger of your own.'
Joel adds, '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. We already have nearly 2000 EV charge point owners who 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 1,861 Hosts with driveway chargers available to rent. This is higher than the number of Tesla Destination chargers, which currently stands at 1189 (Zap Map data September 2021 ). Co Charger's total user base is 4624 and has grown on average over 30% a month during 2021. Co Charger now has Hosts and Chargees in every major UK city and town.
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.'