A recent survey conducted by Renault found that 60 percent of Swedish drivers would like to see more EVs on the roads. Renault’s poll also found (as others have) that a lot of people believe that a shortage of charging points is a major obstacle to EV adoption.
In response to these findings, Renault has created a new initiative called Elbnb: a social sharing platform that allows Swedes to share their charging stations with other EV drivers (the name is a portmanteau of Elbil, the Swedish word for an electric vehicle, and the popular lodging sharing platform Airbnb).
Using Elbnb, owners of charging points, or even regular power outlets, can tag their homes or workplaces as charging stops for EV drivers. Subscribers can use a map app to find participating charging points. Charging providers and drivers agree upon details such as time and potential reimbursement before charging starts.
Although Elbnb is sponsored by Renault, it is open to all plug-in vehicle drivers. The service collects data on charging locations from Elbnb users, as well as existing public chargers, in collaboration with the charger mapping site uppladdning.nu.
“Electric cars are a reality, but the infrastructure is lacking,” said Renault spokesperson Lars Höglin. “That is why we started Elbnb as an initiative run by locals, showing that the Swedes are ready to contribute when political actions are too slow. Swedes are used to the sharing economy in anything from cars to apartments.”