Local man launches car charger sharing app to boost use of electric vehicles
By Philippa Davies
9th Dec 2020 | Local News
Exmouth motorists who own or would like to own an electric vehicle can benefit from an app invented by a local man who was inspired by his own problems charging his car.
Joel Teague, who lives in Lympstone, has launched Co Charger, a new platform enabling those who have electric car chargers to share them with neighbours who don't.
"Five years ago a neighbour in Lympstone convinced me, a card-carrying petrolhead, to get an electric car," explained Joel.
"The car arrived but my charger was delayed, and I found myself giving that same neighbour a few quid to use their charger once a week until mine arrived.
"It led to a lightbulb moment where I thought of all the people blocked from getting an electric vehicle because they live in a flat or terraced house and don't have anywhere to charge.
"It prompted me to launch Co Charger, a 'matchmaking' app connecting hosts with a charger with neighbours who want somewhere to charge, helping to create cleaner, greener neighbourhoods and fight climate change.
"Most importantly, it also means that those who would love to have an electric car will be finally be able to buy one – confident in the knowledge that they can charge reliably and economically with a local host."
The app handles communications, bookings, reminders, calculations and payments. Hosts can set the price they'd like to charge for the service and have the option to make extra income.
Joel, who has lived in Lympstone for 12 years and used to be a project manager for the Met Office, said: "Devon – and Exeter in particular - was always the perfect place for Co Charger to be created.
"It has one of the highest levels of electric vehicle ownership in the UK, plus a wonderful community culture and hunger for innovation.
"Co Charger was launched under lockdown in April, but we have a great team based in the South West working and communicating online to develop the business."
Co Charger has met with a very positive response, both from government organisations promoting cleaner energy and from local motorists.
Radio Exe director and Exmouth resident Paul Nero has driven electric vehicles for six years.
Paul charges his Nissan Leaf from his home charger in the Littleham area of the town, which he's happy to share via Co Charger.
He said: "Electric cars are a joy to drive and much cheaper to refuel than petrol or diesel.
"If there's anyone in Exmouth who has an electric car and needs somewhere to charge, or who is considering buying one, Co Charger is the easiest way to recharge if you don't have a charging point at home – and you could end up charging on my driveway!"
The Co Charger app is free to download and there are no subscriptions. Hosts can be private individuals or any organisation with an electric charger, such as a community centre, church hall or doctors' surgery. For more information check out the Co Charger website.