EV charging meets the circular economy

So if you have an electric vehicle and you are in the countryside, where do you find an EV charger? 

If you are in the French countryside, no problem. The Plug Inn app will tell you where you can find private homes where you can charge up.

Up to 475,000 of them, in fact, according to Ad Age.

It is a radically different way of thinking about mobility, says the French carmaker Renault, who introduced it on May 12, 2022. 

“We must ensure that the enthusiasm for electric vehicles is never disappointed by structural constraints,” says Arnaud Belloni, Renault’s global chief marketing officer. “On the contrary, building a community of individuals is a great opportunity to create new development models based on the values of sharing, self-help, and the circular economy.”

Think Airbnb for electric vehicles.

Drivers can use Plug Inn to search for and reserve private electric vehicle charging stations that meet their needs, and access seamless and reliable charging experiences and exchanges between individuals in the same network.

The owners of the charging stations can generate income and be profitable by sharing their charging stations with other individuals. The app provides them with tools and advice such as a financial simulator to understand their potential income and profitability, and payment methods and access to a financial dashboard.

Renault really thinks creatively about electric vehicles, and two of Publicis Conseil’s ads have won grand prizes in Cannes.

Little Black Book

As the leader in electric vehicle sales in France, “Renault had to build a recharging network in record time, facing the lack of infrastructure outside big cities,” the agency explained. “By connecting private charging spot owners with electric vehicle drivers through an app, Renault Plug Inn is the first recharge community that can take electric driving everywhere and re-inject eco-responsible tourism to the villages of France.”

In 2020, Renault transformed the remote mountain village of Appy into a haven for electric vehicles. In 2021, the ad campaign about the “Village Electrique” campaign won Publicis Conseil the Outdoor Lion Grand Prix

Now the agency and automaker have won another Grand Prix-winning campaign in the Creative Strategy category, this time for Plug Inn.

“This was creative strategy that was opening up an entirely new revenue model for the brand,” said Amrita Randhawa, the president of the Creative Strategy Lions jury. “It was delivering real value, including monetary value, to its consumers. And it was solving an infrastructure problem that no one else had solved.”


Renault Turns French Villages into Electric Villages with Plug Inn App. Little Black Book, May 12, 2022

Renault Wins Creative Strategy Grand Prix at Cannes for Rural EV Charging App. Adweek, Jun 2023

Cover image: dcbel, Pexels