Incubator company ChargeBnB won the Nordic Smart City Challenge

Incubator company ChargeBnB won the Nordic Smart City Challenge:

“We offer an Airbnb for electric vehicle charging”

ChargeBnB idea started in 2019 and in February 2021 the startup won Nordic Smart City Challenge number 3: Reimagining transport, mobility and flow in cities.

The Nordic Smart City Challenge is an initiative run by the Nordic Smart City Network and PUBLIC, supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers, inviting startups with brilliant new ideas to present and pitch innovative solutions that will address Nordic cross-regional urban challenges as we transition to a ‘new normal’ post Covid-19.

The Nordic Smart City Challenge Pitch Event took place virtually on 18 February – the first day of the Nordic Smart City Days. Selected startups were invited to pitch their solution to a panel of judges who decided on a winning startup for each of the following three challenges.

  1. Enabling a healthier city lifestyle
  2. Supporting sustainable communities and urban infrastructure
  3. Reimagining transport, mobility and flow in cities
EV charging solutions for everyone

Startup ChargeBnB, which is one of the incubator companies in Smart Innovation Norway’s portfolio, won the third challenge. ChargeBnB provides electric vehicles (EVs) with private chargers on a mission to reduce CO2 emissions and create more liveable Nordic cities.

“The idea for ChargeBnB was born at the European Utility week in Vienna, Austria by a Pakistan National, Tamoor Ali, in 2019. Over the time, the idea matured and it was decided to establish the company in Norway to develop, test and validate the solution looking at the growing Electric Vehicle market in Norway and a desperate need of new EV charging solutions. We are delighted to be the among the winners of the Nordic Smart City Challenge,” comments Qazi Sohail Ahmad, CEO of ChargeBnB and Project Manager at Smart Innovation Norway.

The mission of ChargeBnB is to provide EV charging solutions for “everyone” and the startup offers the chance to every Nordic urban municipality to increase the EV charging solution by creating an Airbnb for EV charging model.

Qazi Sohail Ahmad, Smart Innovation Norway (Foto: Mari K. Buckholm)

“This will help to expand charging infrastructure without needing expensive investments in the public charging space, instead the private chargers currently not accessible by EV owners can be made accessible. Looking at the future demand of EV charging, ChargeBnB wants to offer inclusive electric mobility solution that enables EV charging for everyone,” says Ahmad.

Collaboration with municipalities

ChargeBnB aims to enable this vision of making Electric cars as the “only” commuting option while converting electric charging as a way of living life. According to Ahmad, the Covid-19 period has made use of personal transport accelerate further than ever before, and in order ensure a clean shift to personal transport, charging as a service in the cities we live in is the future.

“At ChargeBnB, we are discussing options with municipalities to share their Smart City initiative charging options with small and medium size businesses, so when you travel to work and you need charging near your office you can use the existing charging infrastructure, instead of every company needing to install a new charger for their visiting employees. Lastly, EV’s need electricity to charge, if we build Smart Charger infrastructure today, then tomorrow we can have a more flexible and efficient electricity system. ChargeBnB is aiming to fit in this future by only providing Smart Charging solutions for end-customers to install through our digital platform,” explains Ahmad.

Valuable incubator help

Together with Tamoor Ali, he joined the ChargeBnB team to grow a sustainable business further with aim of turning it into a success story in entire Europe.

“Smart Innovation Norway has a vision to create more jobs and tackle the current environmental and societal challenges through research and innovation in new products and services. ChargeBnB AS is a testimony that the employees of Smart Innovation Norway extend the vision by supporting an idea generated by Mr. Tamoor Ali to expand EV charging infrastructure,” comments Ahmad.

He reveals that Smart Innovation Norway and its incubator has been instrumental in developing ChargeBnB during its development phase.

“The support from advisor Ståle Bjørnstad helped further refine the business model of the company, while Head of Incubator Lorenzo Ruscelli created new partnerships that helped ChargeBnB to shape its product according to the market needs.”

For winning the Nordic Smart City Challenge, ChargeBnB will be promoted on NordicBaltic.Tech and across PUBLIC’s, the Nordic Council of Minister’s and the Nordic Smart City Network’s channels. In addition, ChargeBnB has also progressed to the semi-finals for Philips Innovation Award in the Netherlands.

About ChargeBnB

ChargeBnB provides an e-roaming platform to connect electric vehicles with private chargers.

The company provides electric vehicle (EV) owners a digital platform to choose an EV charger and share it with other EV owners to earn money.

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