The early adopters of plug-in vehicles cut the path for all later adopters. Many early plug-in vehicle drivers built their own plug-in vehicles. Others worked with manufacturers to show their support for plug-in vehicles and, later, to get in line for groundbreaking plug-ins like the GM EV1 and the Nissan LEAF.
To make these new vehicles more functional and support the community, early plug-in vehicle owners networked to share their private EV charging stations with other plug-in vehicle drivers. Range anxiety — or the fear of running out of battery power before making it to a plug-in vehicle charging spot — was real and prompted many to take personal action.
Fast forward to today and the same desire to help fellow early adopters has prompted the creation of a new market that allows residential EV charging station owners to essentially rent out their home chargers to other plug-in vehicle drivers. PlugShare led the way into the space as a repository for all public charging stations, and then by allowing EV charging station owners to make their station available to others. Station owners can list their station on PlugShare to make it available for any registered user of the app. Though, the app does not itself provide a mechanism to charge and does not include the ability for hosts to charge a fee for the service.
Discontent from station owners relegated to handing out free electricity as a means of helping fellow plug-in vehicle drivers has spawned new businesses built specifically to enable owners of private EV service equipment (EVSE) to make their stations available and to charge a fee. EVmatch was one of the first to move into the space with its launch last year out of Southern California. It bills itself as the “AirBNB of EV charging.”
The EVmatch team has pushed aggressively into California and recently expanded into Northern California.
The Renault Group has a horse in the race now with Elbnb, which is focused on the Swedish market. BookMyCharge is rolling out in the UK with aspirations to move into the international market. Share&Charge is attacking the German private EVSE rental market with a model built around connected chargers that must be connected to the internet to participate.
EVSE manufacturers are also leaning into the space, with eMotorWerks rolling out peer-to-peer functionality through a partnership with Share&Charge that paves the way for station owners to bill for the use of their private plug-in vehicle charging stations.
We recently published our first report focused solely on electric vehicle charging. It’s a deep dive into residential EV charging stations, public EV charging stations, multi-family building and commercial EV charging stations, EV service equipment innovations, EV charging business models, and electric vehicle adoption trends. Below is one section of the report.