Skip to main content

As discussed elsewhere in this guidance, less advantaged communities have a greater reliance on public transport and private vehicle ownership is lower. We have found through our engagement that transport operators are a critical stakeholder for developers to form relationships with less advantaged areas.

Car clubs

We discussed the importance of mobility hubs in ensuring people aren’t at a transport disadvantage within the section integrating your chargepoints into the wider sustainable transport system. Partnerships between different transport providers can enable the funding of these hubs, of which car clubs can be an important component.

In these areas, partnering with car club operators can help ensure those who either can’t afford to or do not wish to acquire their own vehicle can still have access to them for occasional journeys.

The council could help to identify locations in or close to the residential areas most in need. Ideally these car club vehicles would be electric, with supporting charging infrastructure installed either for their exclusive or shared use.

Peer-to-peer vehicle sharing

The rise of peer-to-peer sharing digital platforms also provides electric vehicle sharing opportunities, with booking and transaction processes all taking place via an app. Beyond official vehicle share car clubs, there exist personal car share apps, through which you can let out your car when you are not using it. If you are a user of one of these apps, you can be selective of who you allow access to your car and can even set up a private “closed loop” of approved users.

These apps could help bridge the electric vehicle affordability gap. Bringing together those who can’t afford a car and/or only require occasional use of one, with electric vehicle owners willing to make their cars accessible to others. Requiring only that these parties’ vehicle usage patterns don’t overlap.

Peer-to-peer chargepoint sharing

In a similar vein to vehicle sharing apps, private electric vehicle charger sharing platforms enable those with off-street parking to allow neighbours to charge a vehicle on their driveway. Several providers are popping up to support the delivery of these services.

On the Rural Electric Mobility Enabler (REME) project, partners DG Cities and EDF Energy ran a public survey on electric vehicles that received over 1000 responses. The survey gauged attitudes towards peer-to-peer charging technology.

They found that 65% of electric vehicle owners in rural areas with their own chargepoint would be comfortable scheduling their charging to allow others to use it so long as there was a system in place to recover electricity costs.

On the other side of this question, less than a third of respondents (32%) indicated they would feel uncomfortable using another person’s private chargepoint.

These two findings suggest that, although not for everyone, there may be a sizeable appetite for such services.

It need not just be electric vehicle owners who can offer up somewhere for others to charge. There are now companies such as FleetCharge offering householders with off-street parking the opportunity to have home chargers installed for free, irrespective of whether they own an electric vehicle. These chargers are then available for the use of subscribers to these companies’ online platform.

If peer-to-peer sharing like these catch on, it may reduce the number of public chargepoints required to support our transition to electric vehicles.

Further information on the REME project, can be found via the DG cities website.