Sharing economy creates new opportunity for electric vehicle owners

  •   3 min reads
Sharing economy creates new opportunity for electric vehicle owners

An opportunity for owners of electric vehicles to monetise their drive via a community charging network has gained momentum thanks to a deal between JustPark and Vauxhall.

There is however an elephant in the living room — at least there's a lack of space in the front of living rooms for millions of householders across the UK. Of course, if you own a drive and, better still, a garage with electric points, then charging your EV at home isn't a problem. But according to JustPark, 40 per cent of UK drivers live in flats or a home without a drive.

In all, 15 million UK drivers cannot install a home ChargePoint.

And maybe these hapless individuals look with envy at the couple down the road with their broad tarmacked drive.

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JustPark's cunning plan to solve the challenge is its JustCharge community. The idea is for EV owners with a drive to monetise it by sharing that particular piece of land with other members of the network.

According to JustPark, if just five per cent of EV owners join JustCharge, the UK's EV charging capacity will double.

Now it has teamed up with Vauxhall, which will support the network by encouraging existing EV drivers to join the JustCharge network, renting their home charging points out to drivers who need a regular place to charge near to home and work. In addition, Vauxhall will work with its 282 UK dealers to prepare staff and to advise customers on the process and benefits of offering their home charging points for use as part of the community charging network.

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JustPark says, "For these EV drivers, monetising their unused driveway lowers the Total Cost of Ownership and therefore eases the transition to an EV."

The JustCharge community does illustrate two points.

  • By using connectivity technology, i.e. smartphones, one of the biggest challenges for many potential EV owners can be overcome. So this is a good example of convergence.
  • For EV owners with a drive, the cost of owning an EV falls.

The second point illustrates why people may be underestimating the speed with which EV take-up will accelerate.

Matt Shirley, Head of EV Networks, JustPark, said: "Having lived with an EV without a home charging point, I know the challenges of limited public charging capacity first-hand, especially trying to find one outside of London. Community Charging has the potential to ease the transition to EV for millions of car buyers. However, the majority of UK councils do not currently have an EV charging strategy in place."

Paul Willcox, Managing Director, Vauxhall, said: "We believe (that the network) it will make a genuine difference to encouraging more British drivers to go electric sooner – with all the environmental, financial and driving experience benefits that comes with."

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