About Co Charger

What is Co Charger?

Co Charger is a platform and app that enables neighbours to share electric vehicle chargers so that everyone can get the key benefits of charging at home – regardless of what type of home they live in.

Why does Co Charger exist?

It’s all about helping everyone to move away from fossil fuel vehicles.

Running an EV is cheaper, more convenient and less hassle than running a fossil fuel car – if you can charge it while at home.

Around half of motorists live in places where having a home charger is not viable.  These people are around five times less likely to switch to EVs because public charging generally doesn’t have the same benefits.   Co Charger exists to give the benefits of charging at home to people who cannot have a home charger.

The company mission is “to enable everyone to drive an EV”.

Who is a Host?

A Host is a person who rents out their home EV charger to neighbours using the Co Charger app. Just download the free Co Charger app, and become a Host.

Who is a Chargee?

A Chargee is a person who rents a neighbour’s home charge point to charge their electric vehicle using the Co Charge app.  Just download the Co Charger app, and become the Chargee.

Can I be both?

Yes, but we do not recommend using Co Charger for one-off charges away from home.

In practice, charger sharing for ‘destination charging’ is a very different process and is seldom needed.  It is not what Co Charger is designed for, but some Hosts have separate Chargee accounts for when they are visiting an away-from-home location that they visit frequently.

The two Co Charger accounts need to be set up using different email addresses, but most major email providers allow you to have multiple email addresses on the same account.

How do I sign up be a Host?

Simply download the free Co Charger app and create a free Host account.  It’s really quick and easy!

How do I sign up be a Chargee?

Simply download the free Co Charger app and create a free Chargee account.  It’s quick and easy, and you’ll get notifications whenever a Host registers near your home.

How is Co Charger different from other charger sharing apps?

This is a very important question! Other charger sharing apps are primarily aimed at helping existing EV owners when they need a charge away from home.   They are generally a destination charging option.

Co Charger is specifically designed to facilitate an easy, mutually beneficial arrangement between neighbours. It is a base charging option and exists to help more people switch away from fossil fuel vehicles.

There is a really useful page on our website about charging types and where Co Charger fits here.

Is there a membership cost or contract to use the app?

No. The app is free to download, there is no contract or commitment, and Co Charger only takes 12% (10% VAT) of the charge session cost each time you use it.  This comes out of the Host’s pricing; it is not added on.

Can I trust Co Charger?

Co Charger is a UK company, based in Devon and well reputed throughout the e-mobility and sustainability industry.  The company has the principles of triple bottom line (Ecology, Society, Finance) written into its memorandum and articles of association and is working towards B Corporation status.  The highest ethical standards are not just followed, but used to drive everything the company does.  The company’s vision and mission are all about the environment, not profit.

If you have any doubts, feel free to Google us or get in touch!

Do I have to own an electric vehicle to be a Host?

No! While most Hosts are EV owners, we also have Co Charger Hosts renting out chargers that have been provided as part of their property, and some who fitted them specifically to make income from spare space on their property.

What about risks and liabilities?

It’s really just common sense and existing laws apply when it comes to liabilities. It is each user’s responsibility to ensure appropriate risk assessment and management are used – just as they do in every other part of life.

A Host has to ensure the charger is safe, functional and fully compliant with standards, and that the area that the Chargee uses is not dangerous in any way. In other words – all the things they do anyway for their own use of the charger.  Likewise, a Chargee has to ensure they do not cause any damage – just as they do in any other circumstance when they are on someone else’s property.

Just remember: this is your neighbour, who you will see regularly; so be considerate and careful – a good neighbour!

When it comes to insurance, theft or damage occurring when carrying out a charger session is likely to be covered by your car insurance in the same way as when you are on the public road. The Host’s household insurance may also cover damage to the Host’s property, but this is less certain. We advise both Hosts and Chargees to check with their insurer just in case they need to make a claim.

In practice, many Hosts simply accept that there is a tiny risk.  It’s a bit like if you cause an accident while riding a bike: you’re liable, but very few people have insurance for it.  After thousands of sessions, we’ve never heard of any damage or disputes, but it’s up to everyone to make their own judgement on that risk.

Is Co Charger just in the UK?

For now, but it’s changing! The beauty of the Co Charger model is that it is social innovation rather than technical, and as such can be deployed anywhere in the world with no new hardware. We aim to find partners to help deliver the benefits of Co Charger globally over the next few years and we are already talking to contacts in some countries.

Is it safe? What about privacy?

Co Charger is about connecting communities and facilitating regular, ongoing arrangements between the same people week in, week out. The transactions are small and Host identities are verified to ensure safety and security.  This is why a highly secure, specialised payment service is used to store and process all financial details (none are kept by Co Charger) and verification is used to check everyone is who they say they are!

Personal safety is – as with anything involving meeting other people in person – a matter for the individuals according to their own circumstances and preferences.

How do I report a problem, query or idea?

We always welcome ideas, and we are constantly updating the app and the process to broaden its use and make the whole thing better and better – so we’ve made it easy to get in touch! You can:

How secure is my information?

The app and back-end systems have been carefully designed to be both fully compliant with relevant regulations and standards and to follow best practice for secure systems – it’s the first thing we did when designing it all. The system is hosted by Guru, a leading zero-carbon hosting provider with impeccable security accreditations and track record. Only your basic contact data and information needed to run the app (charger, car, etc.) are held on our systems.

All financial data, such as banking or card data and all sensitive documentation, such as proof of identity and address, is held and processed by Stripe, a leading and highly reputable payment processing company. No copy is held anywhere else, not even by us. This means that your personal data is about as secure as it possibly could be.

About The Process and the App

For Everyone

What does the app do?

It facilitates an arrangement between neighbours that would otherwise difficult and problematic.   By enabling Hosts and Chargees to find each other, then looking after all the practicalities of booking, remembering, running and paying for charging sessions, it makes the whole arrangement easy.

Why can't I be both a Host and a Chargee?

  • Co Charger is designed for base charging, not destination charging – and in practice, they are very different.  We do not recommend using Co Charger for one-off, away-from-home charges; in practice it just doesn’t work all that well, and is seldom needed.The core purpose of Co Charger is to enable people to switch to EVs, and as such is optimised to make Community Charging as simple as possible.  It is all about repeat bookings with a small number of neighbours.The exception is “2nd base” charging, where someone has a location far away from their home charger that they visit frequently.  Some Hosts have second accounts – under a different email address – to use when visiting that location.   A later version of Co Charger may build “2nd base” mode in if there is sufficient demand for it.

How does the process work?

  • The whole process is set up to give the Chargee the closest experience possible to having their own home charger, while enabling the Host to make some money from the time when their charger is not in use.
    • A Chargee uses the app to find a Hosts their home and link them to their account. (This is normally only needed once.) If there are no Hosts close enough yet, the platform will notify them as soon as a Host registers nearby.
    • A Chargee requests charging sessions from their Host – either individually as needed, or as a recurring weekly booking. Bookings are for the whole time the vehicle will be left with the Host and in most cases the car finishes charging long before the vehicle is picked up.  However, pricing is based on the active charging time – see under “how does pricing work” below.
    • The Host accepts or declines bookings, so they always have full control.
    • An hour before the session is due to start, both users get automatic reminders. For their first session they also get links to the short, “how to” videos for Hosts and Chargees.
    • The Chargee plugs in and starts the session in the Co Charger app. They can then walk home and return when it’s convenient – usually at the end of the booked period, which is often the next morning.
    • If the car has already charged to 100% (as is normally the case) they don’t even need to end the session; the platform works out how long it took to charge the car.
    • The Host then gets the session figures to check in the app, and if all looks ok they confirm it. There is also an easy “query” service to handle any anomalies – but it’s rarely needed.
    • Payment is then taken from the Chargee’s pre-registered payment card, 12% is deducted for Co Charger to run the service, and the rest gets paid about a week later into the Host’s pre-registered bank account.

    These videos are a good way to see how easy it all is:

How does pricing work?

The whole process is set up to ensure the Host makes a reasonable profit while the Chargee gets dependable, affordable and convenient charging while at home:

  • Pricing is based on the time the charger is running. The Host uses a rate calculator to ensure that price includes their own costs for electricity plus a reasonable profit for providing the service.  They also set a minimum amount per session.
  • The Chargee books for the whole time they need to leave the car – often overnight – but they do not pay to park. This is important for Community Charging to work for everyone.
  • The Host can change their pricing at any time, and because they usually have the same Chargee(s) regularly it’s easy to find a price that suits all parties.
  • The app does not connect with the charger or the car; this would be unreliable and expensive. Instead, the platform’s algorithm uses information from the user profiles such as the car’s battery size, the charger speed and the starting percentage of the battery, which is proved using photos taken within the app.  It works out a fair price* to be paid for each session, based on this data and the pricing set by the Host.

*It is important to note that this algorithm is not intended to be 100% accurate; it is there to ensure a fair price is paid for each session so that both parties are happy with the overall arrangement.  A data connection to the charger would raise reliability, security and cost issues that would outweigh any gain in accuracy.  This is why the Host allows for the variations (such as energy lost in transfer to the car) into their pricing.

How is the amount to be paid calculated?

This can seem complicated, but fortunately, the app does it all for you! It knows how big the car’s battery is, it knows the speed of the charger. The user tells the app the percentage charge the battery has at the beginning of a session – and at the end too if stopping before fully charged.

From this, the app can work out how long the charger was actually running for, and hence apply the Host’s hourly rate (and minimum price) to arrive at the amount to be paid.

  • For example, let’s say a Chargee’s car has a 50kWh battery that is down to 25% charge at the beginning of a charge session. The Host has a 7.4kW charger and has set the hourly rate for the charger to £3.50 with a minimum session price of £10:
    • If they unplug 2 hours later, when the battery is at 55%, the Chargee pays the minimum £10, because 2 hours at £3.50 is less than that minimum. Of that, the Host gets £8.88 with the other £1.20 going to Co Charger, the payment people and the taxman.
    • If they unplug 3 hours later, when the battery is at 70%, the Chargee pays for that 3 hours of active charging, which at £3.50 per hour is £10.50. Of that, the Host gets £9.24, with Co Charger, the payment people and the taxman dividing up the remaining  £1.26 between them.
    • If they leave the car until the battery is full (even if they turn up hours after it’s finished and just unplug and go) the app works out that the charger would have taken about* 5 hours and 4 minutes to get that 50kWh battery from 25% to 100% at 7.4kW. So the app takes £17.75 from the Chargee, pays the Host £15.62, and £2.12 goes to Co Charger, the payment people, and the taxman.

(Just as well the app works all this out, isn’t it?)

*It is important to note that this algorithm is not intended to be 100% accurate; it is there to ensure a fair price is paid for each session so that both parties are happy with the overall arrangement.  A data connection to the charger would raise reliability, security and cost issues that would outweigh any gain in accuracy.  This is why the Host allows for the variations (such as energy lost in transfer to the car) into their pricing.

Can I remove my account?

You can send a message to Co Charger at any time to request that your account is either temporarily disabled or removed altogether. Just contact us through the “Contact Us” page.

For Chargees

How can I see the closest available home charge points in my neighbourhood?

You get an idea about availability on the Co Charger map here – but locations are slightly moved to protect privacy.  Only registered, verified users get access to full details.

After signing up to the Co Charger app, you will be able to view your local charge point locations and get in touch with the Hosts.    If you sign up and there are no nearby Hosts it costs nothing to keep the account, and you will be notified as soon as a Host registers near your home.

How much does it cost to charge my EV using the Co Charger app?

Host prices vary but most are considerably less than the average cost of public charging.

By using the app you will be able to browse your local charge points and see rates that apply for each Host.  There is also a public map on our website with pricing – but locations are slightly changed to protect privacy.

Hosts set their own minimum price per charging session and the price per hour for when the charger is actively charging your car. You can book the whole time you need to leave the vehicle but you do not pay to park.

Not only do you get a bookable, dependable means to charge while you’re at home – you get to leave the car overnight, or whatever is practical for you – with no extra cost.  This is one of the key advantages of Co Charger.

What if I don’t want to be there when my car finishes charging?

This is normally the case, so we’ve made it so that you don’t have to be. The app is set up to make the experience of using your neighbour’s charger as close as possible to using one at your own home – and that means you can collect the car when it’s convenient for you (and OK with the Host) and you only pay for the time the car is actually charging.

How is the amount to be paid calculated?

The first thing to know is that the app does not talk to the charger or your car.  It uses information in your profile (the size of the car battery), information about the charger, and the starting percentage when you plug in, to calculate a fair price to be paid.

If you unplug before the battery reaches 100% you just pay for the time between starting and ending the session.  If – as is usual – you pick the car up after the car is fully charged, you can just unplug and drive off.  The app does the rest.

What if I need to charge at a different time from when I book?

You can start a charge session any time from one hour before your booking starts up to the end of the booked period.  This gives maximum flexibility for all concerned.

Co Charger puts you in touch with your neighbour and the app lets you arrange to use their charger as the two of you wish. You can do impromptu charges, change bookings – whatever you like – the app makes it easy.

What if I forget a charging session?

It happens, but the app really helps to make it a rarity!

The app sends reminders ahead of sessions so that both Host and Chargee are always kept informed.  However, if a session is missed it is flagged up to the Host so that they can decide on what action to take.  In most cases it’s just a conversation between Host and Chargee to re-arrange, but remember that a Host remains in control and doesn’t have to keep accepting your bookings – so it pays to be reliable!

Do I pay for the whole time my car is connected to the charger? Won’t that make it expensive to charge overnight?

You don’t pay to park with Co Charger!

Co Charger aims to replicate the benefits of charging at home. For many, that means leaving the car connected overnight – longer than it takes to fully charge the car’s battery. For this reason, pricing is calculated based on how long the car was charging and not how long it was connected.

The Host still makes a good income, because you’re probably using their charger many times over a year.  You get dependable, affordable charging while at home.  Everyone wins!

What happens if I forget to end a session?

No problem! If you’ve not ended the session manually an hour after your booked time ends, the app will assume that the car charged to 100%. It then works out how long that must have taken and ends the session for you. If you are happy for the app to do that, you can just unplug and go.

If you finished before the battery was at 100% but forgot to end the session in the app to reflect that, just let your Host know, and they can use the session query function to have the session adjusted.

For Hosts

What are my responsibilities?

    • The word we hear a lot is “easy” – we’ve made it very simple to be a Host.  You just need to:
      • Keep your pricing up to date so that you are getting paid a fair amount and your Chargees are getting an affordable way to run an EV
      • Ensure the charger is working, available, accessible and safe for your Chargees to use
      • Ensure your Chargees use the app to record their sessions so that it can sort all the payments automatically.

What kind of charger do I need?

The Co Charger platform does not talk directly to chargers, so in theory it will work with any kind of charger.  However, the vast majority of home chargers are Type 2, 7.4kW units – so almost all cars will charge on almost all home chargers.  Chargers below 6kW or above 11kW are not ideal for Community Charging because the patterns of use for those lower and higher speeds are generally very different.

How much can I earn as a Host?

How much you make depends on the pricing you set and the cost of your electricity supply.  As an example: Let’s say you pay 30p per kWh for your home electricity and have a standard, 7.4kW charger.  Let’s also say you have a neighbour who uses 40kWh of charge per week (about average) as a Chargee.   If you set your price at £3.70 per hour then that neighbour will pay about £20 per session.  Allowing for Co Charger’s 12% fee and the (variable) cost of electricity used in charging the car around £6.80 of that is profit to you, which is over £350 per year from just one average Chargee.

Some hosts have professional drivers (taxi or delivery drivers) as Chargees running several sessions a week.  Others have several chargees – so it’s possible to really “make your charger earn its keep”!

(Pricing is explained above under “How does pricing work?”.)

How do I decide what price to set for using my charger?

As a Host, you set a price per active hour for the charger, and it’s important to remember that you are not selling electricity; you are renting your charger. So the price you set needs to take into account:

  • What the electricity will cost you (you will need to check your tariff)
  • Wear and tear on your charger
  • The “transfer loss” – the energy, which the Host pays for, which is used in charging the car.  This can be over 10% if the battery needs cooling or heating.
  • The 12% (10% plus VAT) that the app will keep paying to run Co Charger (covering customer care, app development and marketing) and pay fees for things like financial transactions
  • A reasonable amount to reward you for providing the service.

It’s all very easy in practice – there’s a Host Rate Calculator to help Hosts to experiment with the figures until they’re comfortable that they have set a fair price that will work for themselves and their Chargees.

Do bear in mind that you can change your pricing at any time!  This can be important for keeping in line with electricity pricing.

When do I get paid?

Usually about a week after the session.  The anti-money-laundering and other security processes that payment systems run (when it comes to paying into private accounts) can take a few days.

Do I have to pay tax on the money earned?

It is of course the responsibility of each individual to be aware of their tax obligations, and this is no different.   However, in practice most Hosts fall well within HMRC’s allowance for ‘casual income’.

The Government set up a property trading income allowance in April 2017.  This means you can earn up to £1,000 of income per year from renting out your home charger, without paying any tax on it.  Above that doesn’t necessarily mean any tax is due, as things like the electricity, the cost of the charger and other elements are all deductible against that income.

What if I have a variable electricity tariff?

To keep the app simple at first, Hosts just set a single, hourly rate.   In practice, because the arrangement is usually an ongoing one between a Host and a regular Chargee, it’s easy to agree pricing and timing for charging sessions that suits both parties using scheduling features in the car or the charger’s app, if it has one.

Isn't reselling electricity illegal?

Ofgem don’t class this as selling electricity – you’re renting out a charger.

Their documentation specifically states that as long as you are using specific EV hardware, the activity falls outside their regulations for ‘selling electricity’.

What about locking and unlocking my charger or garage?

Most chargers are on outside walls and unlocked. But Hosts are free to put in place whatever security they wish – key safes or even remote opening of garages can be used – but if a Host wishes to go down and set up each session they can do so.

Many chargers have apps that let the owner monitor use, but even without that it is highly unlikely that they will endanger their very handy charging arrangements by using the charger for several hours without paying.

The key point to remember is that it is in both users’ interests to behave!  We have never heard of anyone trying to “steal a charge”.

What if I have nowhere to park my car while someone else uses my charger?

This is down to individual circumstances and preference.  If you have space to leave your car so that the Chargee can access the charger easily, that’s great.  If it’s not so easy then it’s a matter of weighing up the inconvenience against the income from Hosting – and of course the good that you’re doing!

What if a Chargee doesn’t turn up?

This is one reason why Co Charger is all about neighbours.  Community Charging has at its heart an ongoing, co-operative arrangement where it’s in everyone’s interest to be reliable, trustworthy and pleasant to deal with.

If a session is missed it is usually for a good reason and easily sorted by simple communications between Host and Chargee.   However, if a Chargee becomes unreliable the Host is always able to cancel their bookings and declined any further requests.

After thousands of sessions, though, we have still yet to see a falling-out between a Host and Chargee!

Will I definitely get paid?


Chargees have to have verified payment details in place before they can book a charge session.   If a card goes out of date or there are insufficient funds, the app has a very effective process built in that notifies the Chargee and re-submits the payment once a valid card is registered.

If there are any problems beyond that, the app puts you directly in touch with Co Charger who will resolve any concerns and make sure everyone is happy.