Savvy EV owners could run their car for nothing by renting their driveway to other EV drivers

Home owners renting their unused parking spaces is a growing market with ad-hoc arrangements through classified ads now being replaced with bookable online services. We've done the maths, and this 'air BnB for driveways' could not only see many EV owners cover their charging costs, some could also make a pretty penny out of it as well.

It sounds too good to be true, but by offering a drive or parking space for even a modest sum of money per month, EV owners can easily cover their personal charging costs. Not only this, according to – whose online parking portal facilitates private parking rental – EV owners who offer their parking space alongside the use of their charger can earn around 12 per cent more than equivalent spaces without charging.

Using Your Parking Space's interactive map, we discovered that £50 per month for a rented space with charging capability was at the bottom end of the rental spectrum. We then calculated that the owner of a typical EV with a 60kWh battery could drive more than 1000 miles for that £50 they earned simply by letting another plug-in car driver use their parking space. And they'd still have a fiver in change!

Potential to cash in

We've based our figure on the aforementioned 60kWh battery and a blanket energy cost of 15p per kWh, but – we hear you cry – if the person renting the space is also charging their car, surely the profit is wiped out?

Well, the short answer is no except from in some fairly extraordinary circumstances. The longer answer, and a bit more maths, still shows that EV owners who are kind enough to let other plug-in car drivers juice their cars will still typically come out money up. More to the point, people who have an EV charge point and want to rent their parking space are under no obligation to make it available to use. But let's assume they want to extend that benefit to their fellow EV owner...

Firstly, our nominal £50 for letting out a driveway or designated parking space for a month is extremely low. In suburban London, Brighton and other large cities, those lucky enough to have the space to rent are charging over £300 per month which – let's face it – isn't a bad deal for someone who can save more than that on train tickets or central London car parks. In this scenario, that £300 could power the host's EV for almost 6700 miles effectively free of charge.

Somewhere between £75 and £125 seems to be closer to a true average monthly rental cost, so even if the EV driver who's renting the space charges from zero to 100 per cent once a week, the income for the host will still cover the cost of their 'normal' charging habits as well.

Secondly, with many monthly renters using spaces during working hours, this leaves the owner of the space to charge their car at off-peak times. This can more than halve the cost per kWh, meaning that same 60kWh EV could be juiced for just £4.50, thus increasing the potential profitability.

Lastly, some people offering parking through Your Parking Space offer their spot on an hourly basis – like a regular car park. Locations with an EV charger typically cost between £2 and £5 per hour, depending on location. As owners can stipulate when their space is available, it ensures that they have control over who's parking there and when, and therefore how often and for how long their charger is available.

Could it work for you?

Obviously, you're under no obligation to let anybody use your charging point, so you'd increase your profit just on that basis alone. But if you did want to extend that service to someone renting your space, its worth checking out our guide to EV energy tariffs to see whether the deal you're currently on is the most appropriate. You can then do the maths and not only ensure that your space isn't being undersold, but also work out whether you can cover your own EV running costs while you're at it.

You'd also be joining a growing number of EV owners who are seeing space rental as a community-spirited way of making a bit of money without much in the way of effort. According to Your Parking Space, through their portal there are 1200 private locations where EV owners can park and top-up their car's charge at the same time, and it expects this to double during 2020.

We reckon that if you've got space and live in a location where fellow EV drivers will want to park, it's a no brainer. After all, who wouldn't want to cover their own electricity costs and effectively drive for free?

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