Zap-Map launches Air BnB for charging stations
British EV charging point mapper Zap-Map has launched two new services that allow both businesses and private households to share their charging facilities with the public. Zap-Home and Zap-Work could open up 60,000 existing charging stations potentially.
According to a Zap-Map survey of 2,198 people, 48 per cent of domestic charge point owners would be willing to consider sharing with other EV drivers. In companies, 31 percent of participants would be open to do the same.
Says Ben Lane, Zap-Map’s chief technology officer: “Of our 60,000 monthly user base, we know that around half are willing to share their home point with other Zap-Map users. Businesses are particularly proactive, with five per cent of workplace charging points already being shared, either for employee use or as part of improving customer service.”
The new services Zap-Home and Zap-Work basically work like Air BnB, just for charge point owners and EV drivers. Users share their charge point’s location on ZapMap, along with contact details so people can arrange a time to use it. The owner can then set a cost per charge to cover their electricity bill. Users pay via PayPal in this peer-to-peer model.
A similar service in Germany called Share & Charge though, had recently had to close down, maybe because it was based on blockchain payments. Maker MotionWerk remains convinced that this will be the future of EV charging (we reported).
For the UK, Zap-Map’s service is not the first. May last year saw the launch of Chargie, a dedicated platform for peer-to-peer charging. The service is similar to the one Renault launched in Sweden, where ElBnB allows users to agree between themselves on charge rates. For the British Chargie, the founding couple hopes that users will set their rates sensibly. After all, Chargie means “close friend” in Jamaican patois.