How sharing can make the switch to an electric car easier

This blog post was brought to you by our friends at 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. This is fantastic news! Not only can we help our local environment by not polluting the air we breathe, but it can also be good for our wallets. You can fuel an average electric car for approximately 4p per mile, with no road tax to pay and quite a few government incentives. With new affordable models arriving in the UK and a wide variety of second-hand EVs available, switching to an electric vehicle has never been easier and cheaper!

However, for some, the idea of switching to EVs may be still relatively new, perhaps scary, especially if you live in a flat or a house without off-street parking. The inability to charge at home remains one of the most significant 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.

Co Charger's survey showed that people without off-street parking are around four times less likely to go electric, and a survey by Connected Kerb suggested that over two-thirds of those people simply won't make the leap until they can have the dependability, convenience and affordability that home charging brings. Estimates vary, but this means there are up to 15 million motorists who cannot make the switch for the next nine years, putting hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere and deaths from respiratory illness continuing.

The good news is that there are already many schemes and innovations to help drivers without off-street parking decide to go electric. One such scheme can create a tunnel from your terraced house to your parking space to house a charging cable without digging anything up. Another scheme in London will even locate your car and charge it wherever it's parked, from a van, while you sleep.

Each of these has its use cases and constraints, and none will suit everyone. The same applies to the Co Charger model – but rather than technical innovation, this is a social one.

There are nearly 400,000 home chargers in the UK, increasing by over 15,000 a month. They are in residential areas, and most are unused for over 95% of the time. Owners will have paid anything from £600 – £1,000 to install the chargers (directly or via the price of their car). Research shows that many would welcome an opportunity to recoup some of that cost.

This is where Co Charger comes in. Co Charger is a straightforward, easy to use app that allows Hosts to rent out their charge point to their neighbours regularly so that they can switch to electric cars. Behind the scenes, it is a vast collaboration that now involves government, automotive, utility, technical and environmental organisations. Each is helping to connect communities so that those home chargers can earn their keep.

The result is that Co Charger brings all the advantages that are key to enabling motorists to make the leap to electric:

  •  Dependability: drivers can book regular charge sessions
  •  Practicality: direct contact with the Host, ability to plug in nearby, in own neighbourhood
  •  Affordability: An average Co Charger Chargee will pay under £500 a year to charge their car.

Co Charger's research showed that although neighbourhood and environmental considerations were significant incentives to share a home charger, recouping some of the charger's cost was the primary driver. A Host helping four neighbours charge will make anything from £400 to £1,000 a year.

In summary, EVs are friendly for the environment, health and wallet. There are various initiatives to help those without a place to charge the vehicle, so it shouldn't stop anyone from making the switch. Let's make this happen. Together, we're electrifying.