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The Charge HQ business model

This page contains instructions for configuring
chargers with Charge HQ
Please refer to our
charger listing for details on supported models and charger specifications.

Our mission

Charge HQ aims to help EV drivers manage their charging in a way that benefits the driver whilst supporting the transition to renewable energy. We do this by helping you automate your EV charging to maximise the use of cheap, clean energy, whether it comes from rooftop solar or the grid.

Our business model

We charge a small monthly subscription fee to each user of the app that makes use of our solar charging feature.

We’ve chosen the subscription model as it offers the best alignment with our mission. It enables the service to be provided to any EV owner around the world - maximising our impact.

As more users subscribe to the service we will expand our team and accelerate the rate at which we develop new features.

Charge HQ is effectively free for many users

For most people, solar generated from your rooftop PV offers the cheapest source of energy. By enabling you to utilise more of this energy to charge your EV we generate savings from your electricity bill. We believe these savings exceed the cost of the subscription for more than half our users in Australia.

As more solar and wind generation is deployed, we believe that energy will be cheapest at times when renewable generation is high and demand is not at peak levels. Charge HQ helps you shift EV charging to these periods.

The net cost of using Charge HQ is the subscription cost minus any savings generated.

That is before considering the cost of carbon emissions. All users receive the benefit of reducing the fossil fuel emissions of their transport and supporting the transition to renewables. They will know that much of the fuel for their vehicle came from the sun hitting their own solar panels. We think this is worth paying for!

Why can’t the energy companies pay for this app?

A number of users with experience in the electricity sector have rightly observed that by shifting demand for EV charging we are creating value for electricity generators, network operators and retailers.  For example:

  • Avoiding periods of peak demand reduces the load on poles and wires and at scale may create savings via delayed network upgrades.
  • Charging from solar reduces demand for energy from the grid, avoiding peak wholesale price periods which may reduce supply costs for electricity retailers.
  • Operating a fleet of EVs in a VPP like fashion, turning on and off charging in response to price events may be eligible for capacity or demand response payments in some markets. It may even be possible to earn revenue from grid support services (such as frequency support).
  • Reducing demand for fossil fuel generated electricity reduces Co2 emissions and may be eligible to create carbon credits.

Whilst all of these may provide value, there are significant barriers to accessing them. Including:

  • Value may only be accessible once we reach minimum scale in the local market for each energy company. In many cases this may require thousands of users in each region.
  • To offer the service (and create impact) globally will require doing deals with literally thousands of different energy providers.
  • In regions where are are able to engage with providers it may require users to switch to a specific energy retailer.

By remaining independent of the energy companies, Charge HQ can be used by anyone anywhere with the freedom to shop around for the best energy deal across their all of their energy needs - both home and EV charging.

All that said, we remain open minded about exploring ways to create value from solar EV charging that is not in conflict with helping users reduce their energy bills. If we can access these value pools in future and share them with our users we will.

What about advertising?

We've built an app that we love to use ourselves. We don't like advertising and have never considered it as a possible source of revenue.

Why don't you offer a once-off purchase option?

Unlike a physical wall charger, most of the costs involved in providing the Charge HQ service are incurred on an ongoing basis. This includes:

  • Server infrastructure involved in constant processing of data between solar inverters and EVs / chargers
  • Software subscriptions we use to run the business
  • Wages for the team that both builds new features and ensures the service operates with limited interruption.

Offering the app as a one time purchase is difficult because we don't know what these costs will be and we don't know for long we will incur them for the average user.

Charging a monthly or annual fee allows us to set the price at the lowest level we can whilst ensuring that the business model is sustainable.

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