Published on May 17th, 2017 | by Cynthia Shahan0
Chargie Opens Bookable Electric Car Charging Service In UK — Aims For International Market
May 17th, 2017 by Cynthia Shahan
Chargie is such a simple answer to range anxiety. The site is fresh — a simple, bookable, peer-to-peer electric vehicle charging service. If you’re driving an EV in the UK, as of this month, you can visit Chargie (www.chargie.net) to book a charge at domestic charge points across the UK.
Chargie is reportedly a “first of its kind” worldwide. Chargie enables EV drivers to access the wall-mounted charge points of other electric vehicle owners signed-up to the service in the UK. We’ll see how much quickly the startup can get its service to other parts of Europe, the United States, and beyond.
I have talked to early EV adopters that have traveled long distance using others’ home chargers on the way — but from word of mouth and personal connections, not from an official and growing map. Chargie is streamlined and seems causally official. It is the Airbnb of the EV charging community.
Chargie reports the first UK chargepoint registrations began just two weeks ago (2 May). Reportedly, “the service already has more than 60 chargepoints across the country. Chargepoint owners are steadily adding new locations to the map, with a relatively even distribution of chargers to suit different types of EV (‘Type 1’, ‘Type 2’ and ‘untethered’ chargepoints).”
International interest began immediately. We all need this service. “EV drivers from around the world have contacted Chargie to ask if the service could be expanded to cover their countries, including the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and South Africa. The Chargie team is now starting to work on making the service functional outside the UK.”
Kudos to Richard, from Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria. Richard points out, “Think yourself into the position of a child in a buggy on a pavement. Think of exhaust pipes. Welcome the disappearance of ALL the damage that exhaust pipe does,” he says in his Chargie application.
Richard, like many of us (most EV drivers), choose to drive electric to offset air pollution, stop global warming, and mitigate other environmental concerns.
Richard lives at the finishing point of walks across Morecambe Bay. “He can see how travelers could leave their car charging with him while they spend the day walking.” Richard, like many EV drivers, cites environmental care as a top reason for going electric. CleanTechnica‘s research on why electric car drivers go electric matches that well.
Survey results from our new EV report. Responses came from over 2,000 EV drivers across 26 European countries, 49 of 50 US states, and 9 Canadian provinces. Responses were segmented according to region — North America vs Europe — and type of electric car — plug-in hybrid vs Tesla vs non-Tesla fully electric car.
Continuing, Chargie reports, “Though Chargie was designed to focus on home chargepoints, there has been an unexpectedly positive response from B&B and hotel owners, who see that having bookable charging at their locations will appeal to EV travellers either as a lunch stop or as a destination.”
That’s an interesting note, and shows how a simple service to help EV drivers help other EV drivers in need of a charge has the add-on effect of getting more EV charging stations installed by hotels, B&Bs, etc.
Investors have jumped in as well, understanding the potential of the Chargie service as the population of EVs grows. Charging station networks expand every day, but there are still stretches lacking public charging points. “The founders of Chargie have already received several approaches from potential investors in the last two weeks and are now in discussions about possible investment. Anxiety about emissions and public health is driving a remarkable level of market growth in EVs, more than 40% this year alone as awareness of the cars reaches the mainstream.”
Chargie co-founder Jan Stannard explains:
“Chargie will start to change the way EV drivers think about charging options. At the moment, they think about ‘home’ charging and ‘pit-stop’ charging at a motorway or similar public chargepoint. With Chargie, they have ‘stop-off’ and ‘destination’ charging, with the advantage of a formalised booking system and a charge you can rely on while you shop, attend a meeting, or charge overnight when on holiday.”
The site is interactive and encourages users to join and add their charger — halving the cost of charging if they need a charge at some point. Chargie is simple and shares several characteristics with Airbnb’s web-based hospitality marketplace.
“The EV owner wanting to charge their car finds an exterior-wall-mounted chargepoint on the Chargie website and sends a booking request to the owner. The owner can then review the profile of the person making the booking before accepting or declining it. Once the booking is accepted, the user pays via Chargie and the system contacts both parties to confirm details.
“The chargepoint owner specifies their per-charge cost when they register on Chargie and Chargie adds a small service fee, which is halved if the person has already put their own chargepoint on the network. Registration and search are free, and chargepoint owners can specify when their units are available.”
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