Three reasons why we need community charging as well as increased public charging – because it's bookable, reliable and affordable

Increasing numbers of motorists are keen to transition to electric cars and greener, more economical driving. For those who own a property with a driveway, getting their own electric vehicle charger installed is relatively straightforward.

But what about drivers living in flats, terraces or rental properties where that isn't an option? According to the English Housing Survey 2016, this accounts for around 40% (14.5 million) motorists – who can feel 'locked out' of going electric because they don't have anywhere to charge an EV.

To date, increasing the number of public chargers has been heralded as the way of helping these motorists make the switch. However, although good progress is being made, it's not fast enough. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says that the government must install 700 charging points a day if the UK is to reach its target of 2.5 million chargers by 2030 – but the rate is currently 42 chargers a day.

However, during 2021 a new solution has been growing in influence and popularity – Community Charging.

Community Charging Explained

Community Charging enables 'Hosts', who have EV chargers on their driveways to share them with 'Chargees' - motorists who can't charge at home and would welcome the chance to access convenient, affordable charging on a neighbour's driveway. Co Charger is currently the only purpose-built Community Charging platform. The app handles all the 'matchmaking', bookings and payments.

There are currently around 39,000 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.

More home electric vehicle charging points available than Tesla public chargers

Co Charger was launched in November 2020 and has grown 28% month-on-month during 2021. With more than 5,400 users and over 2,100 Hosts, it is now the fifth-largest network in the UK, outnumbering Tesla, which has 1958 chargers (1178 destination chargers and 780 superchargers) according to Zap-Map November 2021. It also has more chargers than other companies, including Instavolt (643), Source London (1605) and ChargePlace Scotland (1908).

Community Charging might be the 'the new kid on the block' when it comes to charging, but it provides a cost-free opportunity to build a comprehensive UK wide network of electric vehicle chargers, and for households without driveways, it can be the next best option to having a charger of their own. It also provides significant benefits, such as being bookable, reliable and in many cases more affordable than the public charging network.


Public charging

Unfortunately, most public chargers aren't bookable. This means motorists either have to queue or drive around looking for suitable chargers – and return home after a fruitless journey if none are available. If they are lucky enough to find a vacant charger, it's essential that they pick up their car promptly when it has finished charging to enable other drivers to use the space. Some public chargers have 'overstay' fees, so that's another important reason to watch the clock!

Community Charging

Thankfully charging on a neighbour's driveway is far more relaxing. The Co Charger Host decides when they want to make their charger available for rent, and the Chargee books a slot that suits them. Some Hosts only offer daytime slots and need their Chargee to move their vehicle when they have finished charging. But if they have sufficient space, many Hosts allow the Chargee to leave their vehicle overnight and pick it up the next morning. This gives the closest possible experience to having a charger of their own!


Public charging

The recent Channel 4 Dispatches programme, 'The Truth about Electric Cars', did research together with Zap-Map, a platform which enables EV drivers to search for public charge points. They sampled one day in September 2021 and discovered that more than 1,300 (5.2%) of public chargers weren't usable. This can be very frustrating, not to mention stressful for drivers reliant on public chargers. They finally spot a vacant one, pull into the space – only to have a 1 in 20 chance of realising it's not working!

Community Charging

Hosts offering their charger for rent will be electric vehicle drivers themselves and hence have a vested interest in keeping their charger up and running. Basically, most Community Charging chargers have a live-in, on-site maintenance engineer!


Public charging

Public chargers vary significantly in cost. Some chargers, such as those at supermarkets or leisure centres, are free for customers, but mostly it's only possible to stay long enough for a top-up charge, rather than a full one. Different electric vehicle charging companies have different pricing structures – some charge a monthly subscription fee, then a charge per kWh, whilst others charge per kWh or per minute.

Community Charging

Co Charger Hosts set the price for renting their charger, with most setting the rate cheaper than local public charge points. Chargees see the price in the app and select a location and price to suit. The process and payment structure are 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. Through this, Co Charger's ethos is delivered. Hosts help their neighbours go electric whilst making additional income which contributes to the initial investment in their charger and its installation. The outcome being more available electric vehicle chargers and cleaner, greener neighbourhoods.

'At Co Charger, we have always been focused on delivering what a motorist wants before they feel comfortable with going fully electric', says Joel Teague, CEO of Co Charger. 'They need a dependable, convenient, affordable base charging option that fits in with their life. That means having a place to charge near home or work that's bookable will always be working, which doesn't cost the earth and doesn't punish you for leaving the car there beyond when the battery is fully charged. Right now, Co Charger is the only option that delivers this, and we are very proud of that.'

Co Charger has attracted a lot of media interest, including coverage on BBC and Sky News, Radio 4/You and Yours, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and Autocar.

The 'lightbulb moment' that led to the development of Community Charging

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 that it would lead to the development 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 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.'

Notes to Editors

Case studies
We can offer Co Charger case studies of Hosts and Chargees for quotes and broadcast.

Media contact and interviews
Maria McCarthy – /07799527974
Co Charger CEO Joel Teague is available for interview via Skype, Zoom or in person
email -
01392 240840
07941 888679
Co Charger director Sam Routledge

Co Charger coverage
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
Forbes – Charger sharing could be the answer to the EV infrastructure problem

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 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.

Summing up Co Charger in 60 seconds – YouTube video - Co Charger – Together We're Electrifying!

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
English Housing Survey 2016
At least 40% of people live in terraced houses or flats without a private driveway.
SMMT comment on the need for increased public chargers
Channel 4 Dispatches 'The Truth about Electric Cars'
Connected Kerb research – Moving from early adopters to mainstream buyers report
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 -
According to research by the RAC there as of April 2021 there are 239,000 pure electric vehicles on UK roads and 259,000 plug-in hybrids – making 498,000 vehicles – according to the Energy Saving Trust 80% of charging is done at home, giving 398,400 home charge points in April 2021 – since then, numbers will have risen to over 400,000.

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