Discover EV interviews Simon Burge, visionary CEO of Joosup

Joosup is an EV charger sharing app made for EV owners by EV owners. Founder Simon Burge shares his enthusiasm about EV charger sharing practices and how his app could help grow the available network, and also encourage the transition of ICE drivers. 

Joosup is an EV charger sharing app made for EV owners by EV owners. Can you sum up why EV owners should download this app?

The Joosup app is ideal for EV owners looking for wider electrified parking options that are bookable, affordable and in locations where you may not usually find a reliable public charging infrastructure. It’s also attractive to property owners who may want to monetise their EV chargers at times when it’s mostly sat unused, which typically in most cases is several days a week – both day and night.


What drove you to establish Joosup?

The concept was driven by a combination of pressing challenges and my passion for problem solving. Back in 2021, there were widespread concerns in mainstream media about the unpreparedness of the charging infrastructure for the (now revised) 2030 deadline. Drawing from my background as a designer, the idea of homeowners sharing their chargers, in a similar fashion to the sharing economy platforms like Airbnb, emerged as a plausible solution.

Research also revealed that there were approximately 300,000 to 400,000 home and workplace chargers in the UK at that time, presenting a significant untapped resource that could address the public charging gap. My own experiences using existing apps in this space highlighted various limitations, which prompted my desire to create Joosup.

The overriding goal was always to empower EV owners by providing greater choice and flexibility about how they charge, whilst filling a gap that existing platforms failed to address adequately.

What makes Joosup different from other charging apps?

Firstly, our EV-centric approach eliminates any competition for electrified parking spaces with traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that some platforms promote.

Secondly, simplicity is at the core of Joosup. In an industry that’s often marred by technical jargon, we offer a straightforward concept – bookable electrified parking. Our motto 'drive, park and charge your way' encapsulates our commitment to making the EV experience simple and effective. We believe that by streamlining the process, we can encourage more people to embrace electric vehicles without feeling overwhelmed.

Moreover, Joosup introduces the convenience of advance bookings, eliminating charger anxiety. So when using our app, drivers can be confident that their charging slot is guaranteed upon arrival.

Financial benefits are also a standout feature. So by not deducting commissions from hosts on charging sessions, we empower them to set competitive rates, allowing drivers to access more affordable electrified parking than many public Charge Point Operators (CPOs).

What are the benefits for hosts?

Firstly, hosts enjoy the financial advantage of zero commissions on charging sessions, which no other platform does. So they can set competitive rates while still making a good profit. And with direct integration with PayPal, hosts receive instant peer-to-peer payments, eliminating the delays associated with traditional payment systems, like credit card processing.

How does Joosup work? Can you take me through the process?

EV drivers can select any available charging slot on the Joosup app and its host will receive a booking request. The host can then view the drivers profile and decide, based on their feedback score and reviews, if they’d like to approve booking. Upon approval the slot will go into the hosts’ dashboard where they can view all details for the driver including their car make and model, registration number and full name. On the day, the driver will then travel to the host’s charger location with the host themselves receiving a reminder before the charging session is due. At this point the session is paid for once the vehicle is plugged in. The Joosup interface will then display a graphic counting down the remaining charge time. Note we use the term ‘electrified parking’ because the driver will pay to park for one or two hours on someone's driveway whilst charging their EV at the same time – it’s a two-fold service. Should the driver wish to increase their session they have the option to request an extension from the host, who can equally accept or decline with the additional charge incurred. Finally, once the charging session has concluded, the host will have received the funds and the driver completed its electrified parking session with sufficient charge for the next leg of their journey.

Who decides on the price?

The host. We’re currently looking into integrating a cost calculator into the app but also have a charging time calculator so users can get a good idea of how long it's going to take to charge their vehicle from a certain start to end percentage. The app will request the model and battery size of the vehicle so before the driver makes their booking to a specific destination they have a good idea of how long they’ll need to charge for.

We’ve published a blog post on the Joosup website on how to work out a base rate, including base costs on a hosts’ daily rate and standing charge in order to determine the cost per kilowatt hour (kWh). To this hosts can add an extra 30 to 40 per cent possible profit to calculate what they should be listing their charger at, including the small PayPal fee that gets deducted when the payment is processed. This works out pretty competitively with the magic number being £3.50 per hour, which wouldn’t be affected by any pay and display fees a driver may have to incur elsewhere.

Is Joosup simple to use?

Joosup aims to be as simple to use as possible. My view is that, if you’re paying for a service, you must simplify it. And as I mentioned earlier, I also believe there’s too much technical jargon surrounding EVs and may scare and discourage a lot of ICE drivers from making the switch.

What are the benefits for drivers?

Drivers get exclusive access to electrified parking spaces, eliminating competition with traditional ICE vehicles. There are a couple of platforms that advertise spaces with chargers, which often leads to non-electric vehicles taking up said spaces.

Our app also allows drivers to easily book charging sessions well in advance of a planned journey, providing peace of mind and eliminating charger anxiety.

And since Joosup doesn’t deduct commissions from hosts on charging sessions, drivers get access to highly competitive rates for electrified parking. This not only reduces the overall cost of charging but also supports hosts in setting affordable rates.

It’s free to join, right? So how does Joosup work as a business model?

Yes, Joosup is currently offering an 'early bird free trial' for the first year. After the trial period, members have the flexibility to remain as a standard ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ user, where a small service fee is applied at the time of paying for charging sessions.

For more frequent users seeking greater cost savings, the app also offers the option to switch to a low-cost monthly or annual subscription. So, subscribers enjoy the benefit of unlimited charging sessions without incurring additional service fees at the time of charging.

In terms of the business model, in the long term we’ll receive a small fee every time a driver pays to charge and a small sum from subscriptions, leading to recurring payments that will most likely come from business users. Note the fee comes out at the time of charging, rather than joining the app as a service.

Currently, most EV owners opt to install 3-7kW home chargers. This means that a Tesla Model 3 for example (one of the best-selling EVs) would take 10 hours to charge from 20 to 80 per cent capacity, so who is your target driver audience?

The Joosup concept isn't about types of vehicle or battery size. It’s about types of drivers and driving habits.

Our target audience is very diverse. We cater to various scenarios, including those planning long-distance trips towards destinations with limited public charging options. So for them, Joosup provides a local charging solution for extended stays, ensuring a reliable top-up charge before the next leg of their journey. “Base charging” rather than “just in time charging”.

Frequent long-distance drivers also benefit from Joosup, allowing them to strategically park and top-up charge for a couple of hours at various stops along the way. This approach not only avoids exorbitant fees at motorway services but also minimises impact on travel time, offering a more efficient and cost-effective charging option.

Additionally, Joosup can accommodate those visiting friends or family, enabling them to park and top-up charge on a neighbour's driveway before heading home.

So the overarching concept of Joosup is about simplicity and removing the complexities often associated with EV ownership.

If your EV has the range to get from point A to B for example, why not minimise your journey time as well as your costs? There’s no need to stop en route.  You just plug in and charge for the period of time you intend to park for.

Joosup can help fill the void in terms of facilitating up to 22kW chargers – helping perhaps people on holiday or those that live in flats nearby. But with news of the government missing their target for rapid and ultra-rapid chargers on motorways, can Joosup also fill that kind of void?

It depends on the way you approach charging. It’s very easy to stay in the same “just in time” refuelling mind-set that comes with driving a petrol or diesel vehicle. What will change, especially with the newer generation of drivers, is they will likely think more about destination and base charging. It’s not about replacing or filling the void, it’s about adding another charging option.

I think Joosup can offer a lot more than just neighbourhood or holiday rental charging. We’re aiming to build an ecosystem of chargers in locations where you’d be unlikely to find public charging options, meaning drivers can plan in advance and eliminate the need to stop off at motorway services en route. This could be a lifeline in the future when EV adoption hits double percentage figures.

Ultimately, we’re not a magic solution to a larger problem. But we’re providing another useful option as part of the charging mix and that’s the beauty of EV ownership. With traditional ICE it’s the petrol station, or a jerry can and nothing else.

With EV’s we have an abundance of options, but the key thing is very few are bookable. We know from consumer surveys that confidence in public chargers is poor. So the issues we face right now are reliability and cost. Things are improving with the former of the two simply down to the fact more chargers are being installed, but prices show no signs of coming down.

For me, motorway services for example, should really be treated as a last resort. If you know where you’re headed, it makes sense in so many ways to charge at destination rather than en route.

Of course, this requires a shift in thinking away from the old habit of ‘just in time’ refuelling or charging and towards charging where you park or parking where you charge. It’s not going to work for every scenario, sometimes there will be a situation in which a driver will find themselves having to travel a long-distance without being necessarily prepared for it – in this scenario motorway services will always have a place.

As the younger generation of drivers come along it’ll probably be automatic for them to plug-in at home, base charging will simply be the instinctive thing to do. The concept of base charging at their destination won’t be alien to them it will be quite a natural process.


Polling by consumer group Which? found nearly three out of four EV owners are currently unhappy with the UK’s public charging system, with 40 per cent reporting non-working chargers and 61 per cent suffering difficulties making payments. Having owned and driven EVs for over four years and obviously listening to our readers, we’re inclined to agree? What needs to change and can apps like Joosup really make that much of an impact?

That survey paints a concerning picture. Despite increasing infrastructure, confidence amongst existing EV owners is clearly low, even at just 2 to 3 per cent uptake. Imagine what the situation looks like when that reaches 10, 20 or even 30 per cent EVs on the roads in years to come. Vandalised and damaged chargers are also a growing concern and I honestly don't know how the CPOs are going to tackle that one.

To convince ICE owners to switch, we need to offer an attractive and convenient proposition, including wider and more reliable charging options. Bookable charging, even at 7-22kWh, is definitely a feasible one.

Put simply, CPOs need to enhance support for a reliable network. Joosup helps to address this somewhat by utilising EV owners with access to home chargers, by providing reliable, bookable options for short or long journeys. I think that’s a part of the mix and although we’re not going to completely solve the problem, we’re offering a good alternative.

At the end of December 2023, ZapMap reported there were 53,906 electric vehicle charging points in the UK, across 31,056 charging locations. That did not include charge points installed at home or at workplace locations, which are estimated to be more than 680,000. What’s your hope for the future in terms of capturing these individuals?

Even capturing a modest percentage of that ever-increasing number holds the potential to create a significant network as part of the EV charging mix. It opens up opportunities for bookable charging in places where public charging simply isn't available and may not be in the future.

Charger sharing, in my view, is a win-win. Hosts can earn extra income through a tax-free side-hustle (up to the first £1000 per annum), while drivers gain access to a broader range of electrified parking options at competitive rates.

Essentially, we're building a brand new charging network today for tomorrow's EV driver.

It’s a steady process but as uptake grows towards the back end of this decade, the ratio of public chargers to EVs will decrease, but we are currently conducting research on places where there are EV chargers installed and things are looking positive, partly thanks a new EV law that came into effect from 15 June 2022.

Any new residential homes in England that have associated parking must have an EV charger installed on the property and any residential (or commercial) building undergoing major renovations that have more than ten parking spaces has to have an EV charger installed. One charger per dwelling is required, and cable routes need to be in place for the remaining parking spaces. And if it’s a new commercial new building has more than ten parking spaces, the property must have at least one EV charger, plus cable routes need to be in place for 20 per cent of the total number of parking spaces (one in five). Therefore, apps like Joosup can play a crucial role in facilitating EV charging, relieving pressures on public infrastructure as well as people's wallets.

Are there any companies you admire in terms of leading the expansion of EV infrastructure?

There are several inspiring companies who are not just expanding the charging network, but are making it more accessible through design and innovation. There are people I’ve met who are investing their time and expertise into developing remarkable products like pavement charging gullies and charging bridge arms, and the conversion of existing infrastructure. I think that’s where innovation is pretty clever, in taking something old and repurposing it – that’s the stuff that excites and inspires me the most.

Anything you want to add?

I think it’s important to remember that we’re still very much in the early days of this journey towards electrification of our roads, and we need to remind ourselves that it’s just 2 to 3 per cent of us driving electric vehicles. This transition is still very much in its infancy.

No one really knows what the next five, ten or even 15 years is going to look like. But what we can be sure of is that this mass rollout of public charging infrastructure is going to slow down, yet sales of EVs will continue to rise.

Only then will the true picture become clearer as to whether we got this right or not. So I feel that platforms like ours will have a very important part to play in creating confidence that getting an EV is neither an inconvenience nor a daunting prospect to a larger sceptical segment of society.

Every charge point shared together with all the collaborative efforts being made are building those vital components to bring about positive change.

So, whether you're a host sharing a charger, or a driver embracing an EV for the first time, every connection we make today is a step towards a cleaner and greener world.

#ev-charging #charging-infrastructure #ev-home-charging #ev-ownership #ev-uptake

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