We chatted to Joel Teague of the Co Charger app about how community charging is a game-changer for those thinking of going electric.
Maybe you live in a flat, or you don’t have a driveway, or you rent your place. And you think you can’t go electric. Well, it’s time to think again.
Not only are there hundreds more public charging points springing up all the time, but there’s now another super-simple choice – community charging. This clever concept matches those who need a charger, with those close by who have a charger.
Devon man Joel Teague is a former self-confessed petrolhead, now a die-hard electric car enthusiast. He came up with the idea of community charging when his first electric car arrived without the charging cable.
‘I turned up at my neighbour’s every Tuesday for a few weeks, plugged in my car and put a few pounds through his door,’ explained Joel. ‘And it got me thinking – this could be really helpful for the millions of motorists who aren’t able to charge at home.’
Now community charging apps like Co Charger are growing daily, with thousands of people using them across the country every week. The free app does everything – matches you with a willing neighbour (called a ‘host’) and takes care of the communication, bookings and payments. Most people find they regularly charge with the same neighbour – and the host doesn’t even need to be there.
With around 300,000 privately owned electric chargers across the country, it seems crazy not to share – and it could be a major boost to the government’s aim of getting motorists to swap to electric. The host makes a bit of extra money, while helping out a neighbour and supporting more people to move to electric. What’s not to like?
‘People are becoming more aware about the environmental and health problems caused by traffic fumes, and many are eager to make the switch, but they’re wary and often misinformed. In fact, going electric is easier than ever before – but people don’t know that,’ said Joel.
‘There are a lot of misconceptions around swapping to electric – with cost being number one. Yes, the initial price might be higher. But when you look at the true costs, electric almost always comes out cheaper. Range is the next worry. But how often do you actually need to drive more than 200 miles in one go? And if you do need to, enjoy a cappuccino for 20 minutes while you wait.
"99% of those who have swapped wouldn’t go back. So whatever barrier you think applies to you – it probably doesn’t."(Joel Teague, 2022)
‘And then following on from that is charging. Community charging should help to knock that worry on the head. It’s hassle-free, convenient and straightforward. Community charging is pretty much the same as charging at home – only you have a slightly longer walk to your front door.’
Joel’s enthusiastic about spreading the word and helping everyone take the leap to electric sooner than later. ‘I’d say to people, stop comparing fuel cars like for like with electric. Change your thinking. It’s not a new type of car, it’s a new way of travelling. And they’re not just massively greener and healthier – they’re a total joy to drive.