As environment-friendly and enticing electric cars may be, there will always be the fear of running out of juice in the middle of nowhere, which is probably worse than running out of gas considering the scarcity of EV charging stations.Tesla has tried to address that range anxiety with a network of Supercharger stations from coast to coast in the US. But that might not be enough. In order to help defray the cost of putting more Superchargers, Tesla has enlisted the help of Airbnb and its hosts to offer EV charging in their very homes.
Airbnb has become the crowdsourcing counterpart of travel lodging, with hosts offering accommodations to travelers who couldn’t afford or didn’t prefer traditional lodgings like hotels. It has become a particular favorite among budget travelers and adventurers and might soon become a favorite of EV owners as well.
Like anything in Airbnb, this feature is completely optional and hosts will have to apply for eligibility. If selected, Tesla will pay for the charger itself but hosts will have to shoulder the installation. That is, unless they already have a charger installed, probably for their own EV. Even then, they will still have to ask Tesla’s blessing to be featured in its list of Tesla-ready homes.
For Airbnb hosts, this provides added opportunity for marketing their accommodations, especially once Tesla puts out its curated list of hosts. For Tesla, it takes off some of the immediate pressure to provide more public Supercharger stations. It also allows Tesla to practically put such stations in places well beyond the range covered by its Supercharger network.
And for Model S owners, it could be one way to lessen their use of the free Superchargers that Tesla has set up, despite claims of using them within indicated limits. After all, who would want to receive again a not so subtle reprimand about hogging all the electricity in a charging station.