GoPlugable: Irish start-up wants to be the Airbnb of EV charging

11 Dec 2023

CEO and co-founder Maebh Reynolds. Image: Jess Lowe Photography

Founded earlier this year, GoPlugable is a marketplace app that connects owners of EV chargers with drivers in need of the facility to make EVs more accessible.

Maebh Reynolds’ passion for sustainability and green technologies goes back to her days as a student of mechanical engineering at Queen’s University Belfast. After working on hardware and product design at Danfoss Power Solutions in Denmark, she joined the Catalyst programme in Belfast, where she found a co-founder for her entrepreneurial debut.

“Initially, I joined the programme seeking industry exposure, but discovering an idea that addressed a real problem inspired me to embark on this entrepreneurial journey,” Reynolds tells

She is the CEO of GoPlugable, a start-up with a new approach to making EV charging more accessible.

“We’re harnessing the power of community through peer-to-peer sharing. Our research shows that 37pc of new EV drivers lack access to home chargers due to living in apartments or lacking driveways,” she explains.

‘Especially beneficial in rural Ireland’

GoPlugable has addressed this by developing an “Airbnb-style” marketplace where individuals can share or rent their neighbour’s home EV charger.

“This approach not only reduces reliance on public charging stations, but also encourages more people to transition to electric vehicles, making sustainable transportation more accessible and convenient.”

Her co-founder, Andy M, is a marketing professional who also represents the target audience for GoPlugable: EV drivers without access to home chargers. This, according to Reynolds, is a significant challenge as the EU aims to have 30m electric cars on the road by the end of the decade.

The GoPlugable marketplace app allows owners to list their home chargers for rent, giving them a source of passive income. It also “provides a cost-effective charging solution for EV drivers, particularly those without access to home chargers. This model is especially beneficial in rural areas of Ireland, where EV charging infrastructure is less developed,” Reynolds explains.

“The app functions on a commission-based revenue model, where we earn from each transaction. Hosts have the flexibility to set their own pricing, taking into account their electricity costs and other factors.”

While the initial focus is on EV drivers without access to a charger, the final product will cater to the “entire” EV ecosystem, including both B2B and B2C customers. This includes managing business customers’ EV infrastructure and integrating access to public charging networks.

Eyes on the UK

A bootstrapped business so far, GoPlugable has been gaining attention for its novel idea. Founded earlier this year, the start-up has won cash prizes totalling around €120,000 in the past eight months, which Reynolds says has been instrumental in growing GoPlugable.

The company’s first product is now live, with beta testing in full swing and more than 300 people on the waitlist, according to Reynolds. “Our team structure is lean yet effective,” she says.

“While we operate with a remote tech team, currently the core team comprises just the two of us, along with an intern who assists with marketing tasks. We’re also in the process of expanding our team, actively seeking a head of product to join us soon.”

Having made it this far in such a short period of time, GoPlugable is now ready to scale. The company dually based in Belfast and Drogheda is seeking investment to expand its reach across the island of Ireland and launch in the UK, as well as enhance its product and grow its team.

In the long run, GoPlugable hopes to become the “go-to platform” for all EV charging needs, helping the transition to more sustainable forms of transport.

“As a community-driven initiative, we’re committed to building a robust ecosystem for EV drivers, positioning ourselves as a one-stop solution for their charging requirements,” Reynolds went on.

“This vision is rooted in our belief that accessible and convenient charging options are key to accelerating the global shift towards sustainable transportation.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic