As more people opt for electric vehicles in a bid to cut the running costs of their vehicles and heed calls to tame runaway climate change, entrepreneurs are seeing opportunities in the challenges faced by the early adopters to EV technology. One big complaint has been a shortage of charging facilities, and an Australian company is showing how this problem can be resolved creatively through reimagining the Airbnb business model.
Chargehound, an offshoot of Parkhound, is the company looking to give homeowners with a charging station the chance to make some money while helping EV owners find a place to park and charge their vehicles without taking chances on the publicly available charging locations where one can pull up and find a waiting line of EVs with empty batteries.
Simon Griffin, Chargehound’s general manager, says the business is geared to facilitating the uptake of electric vehicles since it provides an answer to the range anxiety that has been keeping several people from buying an electric vehicle. Griffin says that homeowners who register with Chargehound can avoid the complications of determining exactly how much electricity someone has used while charging. Instead, the homeowner can levy a flat fee for each vehicle that uses the charging station.
Simon Griffin is optimistic about the prospects of this new company. He says that within a few weeks of launching the service, at least 600 people have registered to participate. It isn’t clear how many of those people are homeowners willing to “rent out” their EV chargers and how many are motorists looking to find a place to charge their vehicles.
Spacer Technologies owns both Parkhound and Chargehound. Parkhound has been so successful in Australia that it has more than 50,000 locations available within major Australian cities and around the country. Parkhound has also been expanded into the United States, so it may not be long before the innovative team takes Chargehound onto U.S. soil as well, given that the challenges that electric vehicle owners face in the different regions of the world are more or less the same.
While the U.S. federal government is working with state and local governments to improve the available charging infrastructure, innovative solutions such as the one being implemented by Chargehound could play a major role in bridging the gap between where the government thinks chargers are most urgently needed and where motorists who own EVs made by startups such as Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) actually need them. All avenues to address the charging infrastructure demand should be welcomed because each addresses an existing need in its own unique way.
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