Charge2Go opens the Australian electric car market – CleanTechnica | Region & Cash

As EV enthusiasts, the founders of Charge2Go were tired of hearing stories from EV owners suffering from range anxiety due to the lack of charging infrastructure. After all, electric vehicles are selling like hot cakes: driven by a global supply shortage and high consumer demand, and motivated by a renewable energy future, high gasoline prices and government incentives. Unfortunately, as with any mature chicken-and-egg industry, finding the right balance between chargers and users will always be a challenge.

Charge2Go is a newcomer to the world of electric vehicles and charging services. Co-founders Peter Geers, CEO, and Hung Phan (me), COO/CTO, have both been in the energy industry for over 20 years. To combat range anxiety, Charge2Go created the AirBnB of EV chargers, unlocking the value of private chargers and making them more accessible, thereby motivating more chargers into the system. Modeling has shown that a well-used charger could pay for itself within 1-2 years of its purchase and installation.

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 indicate when it is available and how much they would like to receive for the service. It also allows them to promote their location, products or other nearby services so they can create an ecosystem around the charging station to entice people to use it. An EV user simply searches for a location or charging type and can then book a space at that charging station for the agreed service fee. Charge2Go brings the EV host and EV user together through one transaction, and payment is made directly between the host and the user.

The reasons for range anxiety stem from a number of industry challenges including: coverage (where chargers are located), density (the number of chargers available), reliability (faulty chargers), compatibility (many plug types, charging speeds, and vehicles). and fragmentation (many players with their own proprietary software and payment systems). As you can imagine, the customer experience these days is both complex and overwhelming.

As more and more consumers opt for an electric vehicle, the load on the charging network for electric vehicles will increase. Federal and state governments have recognized this and have begun introducing grants and policies to encourage the development of a world-class charging network. However, the founders of Charge2Go believe that this will still not be enough.

According to ABS statistics, as of January 31, 2021, there were 20.1 million registered vehicles with internal combustion engines. If we assume that Australia successfully transitions to 100% EVs in the next 10-20 years, and the ratio of 12.23 EVs per public EV charger (current ratio in California), Australia needs to install 1.64 million EV chargers! (~8% of 20 million vehicles). To put things in perspective, Australia currently has around 3,000 public chargers (~2,500 AC and ~500 DC fast chargers). This seems both costly and potentially unnecessary if we can better utilize the charging network.

Imagine taking the family on an Easter trip in your shiny new EV, the kids hungry and tired as you pull into a charging spot en route and join scores of other EV owners waiting in a queue. You then wait anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to charge while trying to entertain the family. Oh joy! At Charge2Go, we believe that the experience matters most. We can’t change the physics of how fast you can charge, but we can offer the alternative of a charger host located off major thoroughfares, nearby cafes, parks and other facilities that allow you to charge while you relax and focus on other things. The store should not be the focus!

Electric vehicle ownership is becoming the default preference for many consumers as choice and availability increase and prices fall. With many manufacturers phasing out ICE vehicles, we risk reducing the choice of vehicles available to Australian consumers unless we create a more positive narrative for EVs and charger availability. More importantly, we don’t want to confuse consumers with complex charging rules, proprietary systems and regulations that delay EV adoption and transition. Consumers and companies do not need uncertainty in this area.

Charge2Go is focused on accelerating the adoption of EV ownership by enabling anywhere, anytime access to charging. We want to make it as easy as possible for the consumer. According to our research, many consumers are still concerned about EV range, and when venturing off the main highways and freeways, how do they find chargers that are operational and not already in use?

Charge2Go sees mediation between host and user as an important platform service to build an active community, but is also exploring partnerships with vehicle manufacturers, retailers and companies that can use the platform to showcase their products and services. For example, a vehicle manufacturer could showcase their latest offerings in their EV range or even provide vehicle reviews.

To join Australia’s first EV charging network, please visit charge2go.com.au to sign up.


 

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