A Chat with Charlie Cook, Founder at Electric Car Charge Comparison Site: Rightcharge
Rightcharge is the leading electric car charge point and EV-friendly energy tariff comparison site. We help drivers choose the right charge point for their needs, connect with vetted and approved installers, and reduce bills by over £500 per year by switching to specialist home energy tariffs.
Compared to filling up with petrol, charging an EV at home is crazy cheap… even the biggest Tesla only costs £16 for a full charge, which will get you over 300 miles of driving.
However, most of today’s EV drivers are not yet aware that it could be even cheaper if they were to switch to a specialist home energy tariff with overnight off-peak hours and schedule for those hours with a smart charge point. This method, known as ‘smart charging’, reduces the average driver’s home energy bill by over £500 per year.
The cherry on the top is that our electricity grid is also around 25% cleaner overnight when a higher proportion of power comes from clean sources than during the evening.
The goal of Rightcharge is to introduce every new driver to smart charging – making it the norm, not the exception – with the aim of helping to save 7.5 million tonnes of carbon by 2030.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Before Rightcharge I worked at Octopus Energy, a challenger energy supplier that only launched in 2016 but now supplies to millions of customers across the world. We (and others in the energy space) were building new products and services that were helping to make EV driving cheaper, easier and even cleaner.
However, I noticed that these products and services weren’t being adopted en masse as you would expect, and the problem seemed to lie in the fact that they were tricky products for sales teams in car dealerships to talk to customers about. Home energy tariffs are complicated and different tariffs are also better for different people. Home charge points are a new concept for everyone so going into detail on those is not easy either. Sales teams were avoiding these subjects to avoid losing the sale.
However, now that Rightcharge makes it easy for sales teams to point drivers to our site drivers are now being introduced to these products as soon as they get their new car. Rightcharge is already the recommended charging provider for some of the largest automotive retailers in the UK, which means we’re on our way to achieving our goals.
How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
Rightcharge only started trading in September 2019 so throughout most of our existence we have traded through the pandemic.
And this has also meant doing all our fundraising remotely. I completed the first round for Rightcharge in the middle of 2020 and I’m about to close the second round now (in the middle of 2021). Out of all the investor conversations that I’ve ever had (and there’s been a lot) only one has been in person. That was on camping chairs, 2 meters apart and outside of my house (which led to the investor coming on board).
What can we hope to see from Rightcharge in the future?
Our homes account for 14% of the UK’s carbon emissions. As well as continuing to change the way drivers charge for the better, I’d like us to take these same customers on a journey to decarbonise the rest of their home, thereby further reducing their costs and carbon.
We will support drivers with decisions on whether to install solar, whether to include battery storage, whether to electrify their heating and even whether to better insulate their walls. Essentially, our message will be ‘electrify everything’ as decarbonising our lives as soon as possible is essential to avoid living in a world plagued by extreme weather, rising seas, and species loss. The technology to help us do this is available, it’s often cost-saving and Rightcharge will be a reliable buddy to guide people through the journey of upgrading their homes.