The International Energy Agency expects around 125 million electric vehicles on our roads by 2030. What does a fleet of 100 million electricity-powered cars need? Charging stations.
In fact, former IT project manager-turned-founder Sajith Kumar said, the need for charging stations is a huge deterrent for those interested in purchasing an electric vehicle (EV).
“The main obstacle for EV adoption is that there’s no charging facility near their work,” Kumar told Technical.ly. “If you live in Vienna and you’re driving to DC [for work], you’ll first look if there is any charging facility.”
While that’s partially a problem for those making public charging stations, most EV owners are equipped with a private charging station in their own garage or parking spot. Kumar founded College Park, Maryland-based HomeChargerHub last year to help. HomeChargerHub offers the chance for private EV charger owners to rent out their stations to the public. Users can log in and reserve personal charging stations, or locate public ones, while charging station owners can make money from renting their chargers to others on an hourly basis.
This gives owners supplemental income while making EVs more appealing by providing access to additional charging stations, Kumar said.
“There is no platform available where you can book a charging station,” Kumar said. “This also makes charging stations available near the home, work, in your own neighborhood — you don’t need to go drive to your public charging station.”
Kumar got the idea when he was driving his own electronic vehicle to New York and started running out of power. Like someone with an almost-dead cell phone battery and no obvious charging port in sight, he was not sure if he had enough power to reach the next available public station. He noticed a private station for Tesla owners nearby and, without knowing if he could make it to a public station in time, wondered if there was a way all EV owners could access private stations that aren’t in use.
The HomeChargerHub platform, Kumar said, was built on Java and Oracle databases and hosted in the cloud. The company, which is currently self-funded, hosts about 60,000 chargers on its platform (roughly half of which are privately owned). Kumar added that the platform is provider-agnostic, so charging stations from any auto company can be listed. The company currently operates online, but is hoping to launch an app for Andriod and iOS at the end of May. It is also currently working on syncing its data with such operators as Tesla, as well as EV charging station providers like ChargePoint.
Going forward, he’d also like to extend the company’s prospects in the farming community. Since anyone can add a charger to the HomeChargerHub database, he hopes that rural and farming communities can add a station as another form of income and accommodate charging in less-populated areas. He even hopes the communities can create spaces to access WiFi or produce-shopping while cars charge.
Kumar ultimately hopes that adding this option for EV owners will make the technology even more accessible.
“If there is a charging station nearby [their] work, people are happy to adopt an EV,” he said.-30-