Is P2P Charging the Cure for Range Anxiety?

Renting out your own EV charger while you're not using it could be a source of income, as public EV infrastructure lags.

a mid adult female plugs her car in to charge and is conscious of her energy consumption and her carbon footprint
  • JustCharge teams up with Zap-Map in the UK to make 1600 residential EV chargers available to app users.
  • Peer-to-peer charging offers EV owners the opportunity to rent out their own chargers while not using them, setting their own pricing and schedule.
  • A network of P2P charging is growing in the US, pointing to alleviating range anxiety, with a significant number of users in California.

    There is no shortage of EV charging woes at the moment on either side of the Atlantic, with infrastructure quite far from keeping up with the rate of electric vehicle adoption. But while the US has the added issue of vast geography to worry about when it comes to charge point coverage, European countries are hardly better off for a whole host of other reasons.

    But what if in addition to public charging stations, which are still in short supply, you could also use residential chargers?

    That's the concept behind UK's JustCharge and its partnership with charge point mapping service Zap Map, allowing app users to find and book times at residential chargers. This means that 1600 individual JustCharge locations in the UK can now be found and used via the app.

    "With the typical home charging point not being used for 90% of the time, JustCharge hosts can bring in additional household income, helping to offset the costs of buying an electric vehicle," JustCharge explains. "In addition to the Zap-Map and JustCharge customer base, charging spaces will also be visible to the tens of thousands of drivers who already use JustPark for EV parking."

    The company found that one in five Britons with EVs in the household are willing to share their home chargers with others, especially those who might not always have access to a station at home or at work.

    evmatch map
    EVmatch is a similar app for P2P charging in the US, with a significant concentration of users on the two coasts.

    To use the network, EV owners just need to search for an EV charger in the their area via a phone app, book the time they want, and then show up to park in the designated spot. The app handles the payment and other management tasks for the EV owner and for the host.

    The app also allows the hosts to list their charger, set their own prices and schedule, and then just await EV owners.

    “With ever more drivers making the switch to electric, access to a local charger is becoming increasingly important," said Ben Lane, co-founder and CTO at Zap-Map. "Although the public charging network is expanding rapidly, there is a real need for community charging closer to home, providing a viable option for those without a driveway to charge an EV."

    Renting out one's EV charger, or P2P charging, might not solve all the issues with charging infrastructure overnight, but with enough volume it could alleviate a lot of the range anxiety that still keeps drivers away from buying EVs.

    In the US, a company called EVmatch offers a similar platform, letting private charge point owners list their chargers on an app. The company indicates that hosts can earn an average of $15 a week.

    This charging concept is still far from a common convenience stateside. There is yet no way to drive across the US purely by using residential chargers.

    Will P2P charging take off as EV adoption rates increase stateside?

    For now this is perhaps a more niche category of passive income in EV-heavy areas rather than a massive boost to the nation's EV infrastructure. But as individual US states work to phase out the sales of gas and diesel-powered cars and trucks over the next decade, such charging services could take on a newfound importance.

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