Community Charging – just a concept just three years ago – is now a big part of the electric vehicle charging industry. The rapid success of Co Charger is remarkable: from inventing Community Charging to becoming the third biggest charging network in the UK in under two years. Now, Co Charger are using that success to help the private hire and taxi industry to accelerate their transition to electric.

Their platform enables those with private electric vehicle chargers to rent them out to neighbours on a regular, dependable and affordable basis – making money and helping their communities in the process. With over 400,000 under-utilised private chargers in the UK – ten times the number of public ones – it makes a lot of sense.

The company’s mission is to make the advantages of home charging available to motorists who cannot have home chargers – a key element in allowing everyone to switch to cleaner transport. But while the availability of over 4,000 Co Charger ‘Hosts’ is good news for the private motorist, it is a game-changer for professional drivers who are dependent on public charging to run their electric vehicle.

For these people, the money and time lost to charging their vehicle while on-shift is a huge negative against the advantages of going fully electric. Charger availability, speed, reliability and pricing are well-publicised problems for everyone, but to a professional needing to charge daily these issues can be deal-breakers. Using Co Charger rather than public charge points can save a private hire driver over £100 and 20 hours every month.

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Alan Wright, Group Operations Director of the Ground Transport Group, emphasised the importance of Co Charger to the private hire and taxi industry: “Wanting to drive an EV, and being able to drive an EV, don’t necessarily go hand in hand, and innovative solutions are needed to enable people to make the switch. Co Charger optimises that innovation by opening up a network of around 400,000 home chargers across the UK to other motorists. This, in my view, is genius, and there are many Chauffeur, Courier, Private Hire Vehicle and Taxi drivers who I believe will be able to benefit from this solution, which we are proud to support”.

Joel Teague, CEO of Co Charger, was on stage at the Ground Transport Show at Wembley Stadium in September. He commented, “What became very obvious from talking to so many people in the taxi and private hire industry was that Co Charger’s network of Hosts will be a massive part of their electrification approach. The ability to charge while off-shift at home via Co Charger means shorter, more profitable working days. The ability to book and leave the vehicle for a period of time that is convenient – rather than having to be there when the charge completes – means they effectively have a home charge point.”

Following on from the show, Co Charger are now engaging with suppliers, associations, press, operators and drivers to get the word out. Their aims are threefold:
● Solve the immediate problem for drivers already dependent on public charging
● Enable more drivers to switch to electric earlier, reducing emissions in the process
● Improve driver wellbeing, finances and job satisfaction.

Most people in the UK are now within a mile of a Co Charger Host, it’s free to create an account, and the platform automatically notifies the user when a Host sets up nearby. Teague added, “We made this solution simple and free to set up so that we can get more fossil fuel vehicles off the road sooner. We’re always keen to talk to anyone in the industry who is interested in using Community Charging to do this.”