E-mobility meets sharing. Share & Charge is a new platform that has a fresh idea for how to tackle the problem of insufficient of charging points for electric cars - by connecting EV drivers with people and their private charging stations at home.
We're aware of the problem: While in the next few years we should see more electric cars on our roads, at the same time users are still not entirely convinced. The main issue remains the same: range anxiety, the fear of being stuck somewhere without enough battery to get you to your desired destination. And unfortunately it's been a vicious circle, with many providers only really wanting to invest extensively in suitable infrastrucuture when there are enough users to provide for. While for many potential customers, getting an electric vehicle only really makes sense when there's a sufficient charging network available...
The new platform Share & Charge, launched at the end of September, has come up with a clever solution - by plugging into the concept of the sharing economy - and connecting private electric car charging stations to a network that's accessible to the public. On Share & Charge's community marketplace there's an electronic reservation system made up of a netowkr of private charging stations that are available for use by other electric vehicle users. Ideally, the whole thing will pretty much take off by itself: people with private charging points just have to register them at Share & Charge and offer up times when the point is free for use. And all EV drivers need to do is set up a user account and load credit onto it using Paypal or a direct bank transfer.
An app is used to organise the charging process, which shows all the stations that are active and able to be booked. Charging costs a fee, which is made up of the cost of the electricity, a service charge from Share & Charge and a user fee. A similar system, calling itself Elbnb, is already up and running in Sweden. But the charging points are currently still limited to that country, with a few dotted around in neighbouring Denmark.
How to Make Share & Charge Safe and Secure? Blockchain.
Share & Charge is currently in the trial phase and access to the charging points is still a question of trust between providers and users. The next step is the switchover of the process to Blockchain technology, which should make the whole process of charging and payment between provider, client and platform a cohesive and secure system.
The IT startup Slock.it is responsible for the IT solution of the platform, and the focus of their work is on blockchain technology and digital payment options for the sharing economy.
For more about blockchain and the extraordinary role it could play in making our lives more sustainable, check out our article: Blockchain: A Digital System For Real World Sustainability.
We're excited to see how popular Share & Charge will be. Pretty much everyone who buys an electric car also invests in their own private charging station. But will the platform be able to reach those people and get them to sign up? Many of those charging points are located in places that aren't that easy to get to, which might be another issue. But the platform still has a lot of potential to expand charging infrastructure. People had their doubts about Airbnb when they just started too, and look how that took off.
To find out how you can get involved in e-mobility (without necessary shelling out for an EV), check out our handy guide on joining the e-mobility revolution.
And for a low-down on what e-mobility actually means right now and how it could develop in the future, check out our comprehensive Knowledge Article: E-Mobility - Where Is It Taking Us?
The future looks bright for e-mobility. Want to find out which countries are leading the way, how electric vehicles are now holding their own against the rest of the market, and what innovative startups are doing to keep e-mobility moving forward? You can find all the articles here: RESET Special E-Mobility.