Drive Zero is launching a rental service for Electric Car owners, with a set of cables and adapters that will allow you to charge effectively off the beaten track.
That duffel bag in the front trunk of my Model X above? That contains a carefully chosen bundle of cables that would enable me to charge at one of many charging stations and electrical outlets – and I want other Electric Car owners (and this isn’t targeted at Tesla owners only) to be able to rent one too.
By renting one of our Cable and Charger Kits, you’ll avoid having to spend a fortune on gear you’d otherwise use rarely and would languish unused for 330 days a year.
The rental service is not live yet – but will be soon. I’m targeting some time in August or September 2018. I have the charging kits and equipment worked out, along with some general ideas on pricing for rentals.
But I’d love some feedback from EV owners who might be interested in the service, plus, I also need to get the final bits of the website and legals/terms ironed out before pushing the green button.
Why is a Electric Car Cable Rental useful?
Electric car ownership is generally far cheaper in terms of energy, maintenance and ongoing costs, but one of the hurdles that can trip owners up – both financially and logistically – is the need for cables and connectors to enable charging in as many places as possible when travelling.
If you only ever drive your electric car from home to work or around your usual routes from home, then once you’ve got your home charger installed, you’re set.
If you want to go travelling further afield though, then planning ahead as to where and how you’ll charge becomes more important.
Now having owned three electric cars – two BMW i3s and a Tesla – I have a fair idea of my charging habits, plus the barriers to charging further afield.
What does each kit contain?
We have a kit for each of Type 1 and Type 2 connector-equipped cars, plus one for Teslas too.
The Tesla cable kit contains:
- Tesla Chademo adapter
- Type 2 to Tesla (also Type 2) lead
- Type 1 to Tesla lead
- 32A three phase, 20A three phase, 32A single phase connectors for the Tesla Mobile Charger
This will allow Tesla owners to charge from DC fast chargers outside the Supercharger network, Type 2 and Type 1 chargers (such as the Chargepoint network) and naked higher power chargers found at show-grounds and campsites.
Tesla owners will need to provide their own Tesla Mobile Charger that is supplied with their car.
The Type 1 and Type 2 cable kits contain:
- 32A single phase charger
- Adapter to charge from Tesla Destination Chargers to 32A charger
- 32A three phase to 32A single phase cable
- Type 1 to Type 2 OR Type 2 to Type 1 convertor cable
- Type 1 or Type 2 extension cable
This allows you to charge your Type 1 or Type 2 equipped car from Type 1 or 2 chargers such as Chargepoint, Tesla Destination Chargers or again, higher power chargers found at show-grounds and campsites.
All the charging gear is supplied by reputable Australian suppliers – primarily EVolution Australia. It will be packed in a compact duffel that should fit in your front trunk, and I’ve been testing it out recently with great success.
The kits will be shipped to your home by courier in around 2 days or available to collect for Sydney, and in future (possibly) Melbourne too if you’d prefer to collect and save on shipping, or get one more quickly.
How much will it cost?
This is the interesting part. The cables and equipment in each kit have a retail value of around $1,500 each.
We have to factor in shipping each way – at a cost of around $20.
To rent, I’m expecting pricing to be around $300 – including courier costs – for 3 weeks, plus $80 per additional week for longer periods. But this isn’t set in stone.
Why 3 weeks? I figure many people are likely to head off on 1 to 2 week trips. A 3 week rental period would allow for some buffer to allow for the kit to arrive and prepped to send back. The rental period would exclude the shipping time back to us.
How can you help?
If you’re an electric car owner, I’d love to hear in the comments for this post in the Drive Zero Community about your thoughts on:
- How long you are likely to want to rent a kit for
- How often you might rent, and
- How much you’d pay for your preferred rental period
- What other comments you might have that I could consider factoring in
Or if you’re not likely to use the service, then I’d like to know why too. Thanks to everyone for their input!