Charge2Go, opening up the electric vehicle charging market in Australia
As EV enthusiasts, the founders of Charge2Go are tired of hearing stories of electric vehicle owners experiencing range anxiety due to a lack of charging infrastructure. After all, electric cars are selling like hot cakes: driven by global supply shortfalls and rising consumer demand and driven by a renewable energy future, rising gasoline prices, and government incentives. Unfortunately, like any mature “chicken and egg” industry, getting the right balance between chargers and users will always be a challenge.
Charge2Go is a newcomer in the world of electric vehicles and charging services. Co-founders Peter Geers, CEO, and Hong Fan (I), COO/Chief Technology Officer, have both been in the energy industry for more than 20 years. To combat range anxiety, Charge2Go has created AirBnB EV chargers, unlocking the value of special chargers and making them more accessible, thus incentivizing more chargers on the system. Modeling showed that a well-used charger can pay off purchases and installations within 1-2 years.
The Charge2Go platform is a service that allows companies or individuals who own or have access to a charger to list their charger on the platform, and decide when it is available and how much they want to get from the service. It also allows them to promote their site, products or other services in the vicinity so that they can create an ecosystem around the shipping site to attract people to use it. An EV user simply searches for a location or type of charger and can then reserve a slot on that charger for the agreed service fee. Charge2Go matches an EV host and an EV user via a transaction, and payment is made directly between the host and user.
The reasons for concern about range stem from a number of industry challenges, including: coverage (where chargers are located), density (number of chargers available), reliability (defective chargers), and compatibility (many component types, charging speeds, and vehicles) , and retail (many players have their own software and payment systems). As you can imagine, currently customer experience is complex and confusing.
As more consumers choose the electric vehicle, the pressure on the electric vehicle charging network will increase. Federal and state governments have recognized this and are introducing grants and policies to encourage the development of a world-class freight network. However, the founders of Charge2Go believe that this will not be enough.
According to ABS statistics, there were 20.1 million combustion vehicles registered as of January 31, 2021. If we assume that Australia successfully transitions to 100% EVs over the next 10-20 years and uses a ratio of 12.23 EVs per year EV charger (the current ratio in California), Australia will need To install 1.64 million EV chargers! (~8% of 20 million vehicles). To put things into perspective, Australia currently has approximately 3,000 public chargers (~2500 AC and 500 DC fast chargers). This seems expensive and probably unnecessary if we can make better use of the charging network.
Imagine taking the family on an Easter ride in your shiny new electric car, the kids are hungry and tired as you enter a charging car park on the way and you join dozens of other electric vehicle owners waiting in line. Then you wait anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to charge while trying to keep the family entertained. Oh joy! At Charge2Go, we believe that experience is most important. We can’t change the physics of how fast charging is, but we can offer an alternative to a charger host located off major highways, nearby cafes, parks, and other amenities that allow you to charge while you relax and focus on other things. Charging shouldn’t be the focal point!
Electric vehicle ownership will become the default preference for many consumers as options and availability increase and prices decrease. With so many manufacturers ceasing combustion cars, we risk reducing the range of vehicles available to Australian consumers if we don’t create a more positive narrative for electric vehicles and the availability of chargers. Most importantly, we don’t want to confuse consumers with complex charging arrangements, ownership systems and regulations that will delay the adoption and transition to electric vehicles. Consumers and businesses do not need uncertainty in this area.
Charge2Go focuses on accelerating the adoption of electric vehicle ownership by enabling access to charging anywhere, anytime. We want to make everything as easy as possible for the consumer. Through our research, many consumers are still concerned about the range of electric vehicles, and if they are venturing off highways and major highways, how can they locate chargers that are in service and not already in use?
Charge2Go sees host-user facilities as an essential service for an active community building platform, but is also looking for partnerships with auto manufacturers, retailers and companies who can use the platform to showcase their products and services. So, a vehicle manufacturer can for example showcase their latest offering in their electric vehicle range or even provide vehicle reviews.
To participate in Australia’s first electric vehicle charger sharing network, please visit charge2go.com.au to register.
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