Alternative Base Charging

No driveway? No problem!

Home charging is great, but not having it is NOT a barrier to owning an EV!

While public charging in the UK is becoming very good, it is not always a viable alternative to home charging in terms of cost and convenience.   But there are other ways of running an EV without a home charger – and some of them WILL work for you!

Kerbocharge gulley

Alternative Base Charging, or ‘ABC’ options, are everywhere.  Every month, thousands of people who cannot have home chargers buy EVs anyway because they know they will find ABC options to suit them.

Below we list just some of them, but more are arriving all the time.  If you know of any others – or even work for a company offering one that’s not here, get in touch!

Neighbourhood watts

Of course we’d start with our own invention: Community Charging! With over 5,000 registered Hosts from Jersey to Orkney, it’s the UK’s 2nd biggest and fastest-growing EV charging network. Most people in the UK already live within a 10-minute walk of a neighbour ready and willing to rent their charger. It’s bookable, dependable, affordable – and best of all you get to just go home to bed while it charges.

Look around this website if you’re not already familiar with the wonderful thing that is Co Charger! (Or just watch this video.) The app is free, and even if you don’t have a nearby Host yet, you’ll get notified when someone registers in your area.

Aerial shot of Newcastle with Co Charger user points

Charging at work

For many, a place of work is a second “base” where their car sits idle for hours at a time. If you drive to work and they have a charger you can use, then it’s a great way to “charge while stopped” rather than “stopping to charge”. If they don’t have a charger, push them to get one – they can even get a grant for it. There are plenty of good companies who can put in workplace chargers too – Charged.EV and My EVs, for example.

Another option, if you drive to work regularly and pay to park, is to choose parking that has EV charging, or use JustPark to park in a private driveway with a charge point while you’re at work.

Power to your pavement

If you live near the road and can park outside at least once every few days, then there are many ways to get your home power to your car without risking the wrath of your council or a law suit from an angry passer-by who’s tripped on your cable:

• Metal channels dug into pavements can enable you to run a cable from a charge point on your wall to the kerbside. There are plenty of options: Gul-E, Kerbo Charge, Charge Gully, Green Mole and Pavecross for starters.

• You can install gantries that swing out over the pavement from your house to take the cable over passers-by: ChargeArm and ChargeBridge both supply these.

• Tunnelling your home supply to a flush-mounted unit in the pavement near your home is a very elegant solution. Trojan’s offering is very appropriately named.

Home delivery

It’s early days, but it’s going to get more commonplace: Why take your car to a charge point when you can have someone bring the charger to your car while you sleep? Mobile charging services are on the rise, and while the original Charge Fairy are starting to expand the reach of their service, new entrants such as PLUG Charging are coming into the market.

Alternatively, you may be able to stop on your way home to pick up a battery to use to charge your car overnight. ZipCharge have some nifty portable units, and for fleets there’s TUAL, who will rent you a portable battery for your van to take home and charge from overnight.

Creative Communities

There are schemes to help you and your neighbours to set up your own charging solutions. You can give your local authority a hefty shove towards providing charging via the ORCS (On Street Residential Charging Scheme), or collaborate with the wonderful not-for-profit ChargeMyStreet to create a charging facility for your neighbourhood.

Grazing awareness

For some, the art of picking up a bit of charge here and there as you go about your day is all part of the fun of running an EV – and it can be a very effective way to do it. If you think about all the places where your car stops – the supermarket, the town car park, the gym, the cinema – it’s often possible to top up your car cheaply while you’re stopped. You can’t book and the chargers can be slow – but if you visit places with chargers regularly and for a reasonable amount of time, then it’s definitely an option. Zap-Map is a great way to see what’s where.

Right up your street

The stats may not show a direct link between generic public charging and EV sales to people without driveways – but there are more and more chargers being installed that are specifically designed to be used by nearby residents. Whether built into the kerbside like Connected Kerb, pop up out of the pavement on demand like the chargers from Urban Electric, or are built into lamp posts like or ChargeLight it can be the right solution if you have them in your area.

There are so many networks up and running and in the market already – check Zap Map to find out about them, and get their app for an easy way to find which charger is where, and even whether it’s available at any given time.

Ride the super-rapids

At the other end of the public charging scale there are the super-rapids; the rapidly expanding networks of chargers on main routes and at charging hubs that can zap hundreds of miles into your battery (or at least as many as you car will take) in the time it takes to take a comfort break and down a skinny latte. There are too many options to list here, but as usual, Zap-Map have both the app to find them on the fly, and the web page to tell you all about them.