Public electric vehicle chargers are growing in number, but they're not exactly ubiquitous just yet. But one startup wants drivers to take advantage of chargers that are installed on private property, as well.
Chargie is a peer-to-peer EV charging service, so it's basically Airbnb, but with chargers instead of housing. EV owners off the beaten path can pull up the app and find homeowners willing to lend some juice. The homeowner can review the profile requesting a charge, and if everything's kosher, the driver can show up and juice up.
Chargie is only available in the UK -- or it will be, once it launches on May 16. A charge will cost users between £2 and £4 ($2.58 and $5.17), depending on taxes. Chargie will also add a small service fee.
The strength of the service, of course, depends on the size of the network. Chargie is looking for homeowners to sign up to the service ahead of its debut, but it hasn't divulged how many chargers are currently on Chargie's radar.
The company was created after it founders went on holiday, but there were no public EV chargers to be found. Considering there are nearly 100,000 plug-in vehicles roaming around the UK, the founders realized there was untapped potential in those chargers that largely lay dormant.
If Chargie proves its mettle in a smaller location like the UK, it could stand a chance in larger areas like the US. There are multiple companies working to add to the EV infrastructure around the world, but something like Chargie could go a long way in filling the gaps between now and a future with plugs on every corner.