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Scaling up its network, ChargeSini pitches ownership of EV chargers as a side hustle

Electric vehicle sales in Malaysia have long been modest, but they surged by 286% in 2023. Throw in a subsidy proposed by the government earlier this week, and adoption rates could skyrocket, fueling a need for expanded charging infrastructure. Local startup ChargeSini ('charge here') wants to capture a significant share of that market, in part by inviting people to invest in individual charging stations as a side business.

Starting from MRY 100,000, 'project partners' can own a charging station. ChargeSini installs a fast DC charger with 60 kW output, handles repairs and adds each charger to its consumer app for findability and payment processing. All net profits go to the charging point's owner. For its initial offering, the startup secured parking spots at a few dozen Lotus's supermarkets β€” prime locations requiring higher investments of MRY 210,000–250,000. Presumably, partners will also be encouraged to scout high-traffic locations on their own.

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ChargeSini's model resembles running vending machines as a small business β€” entrepreneurial folks pick a promising location, invest in hardware and then generate revenue with minimal ongoing management. And unlike a vending machine, a charging point doesn't need to be restocked. Meanwhile, for ChargeSini, it's a way to swiftly scale up to serve the 500,000 EVs the Malaysian government aims to have on roads by 2030.

Whether they're facing financial pressures, following a passion or wary of relying solely on an employer for their livelihood, people will continue to seek side gigs. Which could present opportunities for your own brand to flourish. Consider how your company might enter into a symbiotic partnership with the most enterprising members of your audience. Alternatively, scan your sector for barriers to entry and help aspiring (part-time) entrepreneurs get to the other side.

Related: Elby turns buildings into EV-charging co-ops, with residents sharing revenues

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Acacia Leroy